Identifying essential genes in Arabidopsis thaliana

Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Sep;13(9):483-91. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.06.003. Epub 2008 Aug 4.


Eight years after publication of the Arabidopsis genome sequence and two years before completing the first phase of an international effort to characterize the function of every Arabidopsis gene, plant biologists remain unable to provide a definitive answer to the following basic question: what is the minimal gene set required for normal growth and development? The purpose of this review is to summarize different strategies employed to identify essential genes in Arabidopsis, an important component of the minimal gene set in plants, to present an overview of the datasets and specific genes identified to date, and to discuss the prospects for future saturation of this important class of genes. The long-term goal of this collaborative effort is to facilitate basic research in plant biology and complement ongoing research with other model organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / embryology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Genes, Essential*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype


  • Arabidopsis Proteins