Current status of the multinational Arabidopsis community

Geraint Parry, Nicholas J. Provart, Siobhan M. Brady, Baris Uzilday, Keith Adams, Wagner Araújo, Sébastien Aubourg, Sacha Baginsky, Erica Bakker, Katja Bärenfaller, Jacqui Batley, Mike Beale, Mark Beilstein, Youssef Belkhadir, Tanya Berardini, Joy Bergelson, Francisca Blanco-Herrera, Siobhan Brady, Hans Peter Braun, Steve BriggsLynette Brownfield, Maura Cardarelli, Marcos Castellanos-Uribe, Gloria Coruzzi, Maheshi Dassanayake, Geert De Jaeger, Brian Dilkes, Colleen Doherty, Joe Ecker, Pat Edger, David Edwards, Farid El Kasmi, Maria Eriksson, Moises Exposito-Alonso, Pascal Falter-Braun, Alisdair Fernie, Myriam Ferro, Oliver Fiehn, Joanna Friesner, Katie Greenham, Yalong Guo, Thorsten Hamann, Angela Hancock, Marie Theres Hauser, Joshua Heazlewood, Cheng Hsun Ho, Hanna Hõrak, Eva Huala, Inhwan Hwang, Satoshi Iuchi, Pankaj Jaiswal, Liina Jakobson, Yunhe Jiang, Yuling Jiao, Alexandra Jones, Yasuhiro Kadota, Jitendra Khurana, Dan Kliebenstein, Emma Knee, Masatomo Kobayashi, Marcus Koch, Gabriel Krouk, Tony Larson, Rob Last, Loïc Lepiniec, Song Li, Claire Lurin, Martin Lysak, Steven Maere, Robert Malinowski, Florian Maumus, Sean May, Klaus Mayer, David Mendoza-Cozatl, Isabel Mendoza-Poudereux, Blake Meyers, José Luis Micol, Harvey Millar, Hans Peter Mock, Karolina Mukhtar, Shahid Mukhtar, Monika Murcha, Hirofumi Nakagami, Yasukazu Nakamura, Luke Nicolov, Basil Nikolau, Moritz Nowack, Adriano Nunes-Nesi, Michael Palmgren, Geraint Parry, Nicola Patron, Scott Peck, Ullas Pedmale, Catherine Perrot-Rechenmann, Roland Pieruschka, José Pío-Beltrán, J. Chris Pires, Nicholas Provart, Loïc Rajjou, Leonore Reiser, Sigrun Reumann, Sue Rhee, Stamatis Rigas, Norbert Rolland, Andres Romanowski, Véronique Santoni, Sigal Savaldi-Goldstein, Robert Schmitz, Waltraud Schulze, Motoaki Seki, Kentaro K. Shimizu, Keith Slotkin, Ian Small, David Somers, Rosangela Sozzani, Charles Spillane, Ramamurthy Srinivasan, Nicolas Taylor, Marcela Karey Tello-Ruiz, Jay Thelen, Takayuki Tohge, Christopher Town, Tetsuro Toyoda, Baris Uzilday, Yves Van De Peer, Klaas van Wijk, Philipp von Gillhaussen, Justin Walley, Doreen Ware, Wolfram Weckwerth, Julian Whitelegge, Stefanie Wienkoop, Clay Wright, Michael Wrzaczek, Misako Yamazaki, Marcelo Yanovsky, Viktor Žárský, Xuehua Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The multinational Arabidopsis research community is highly collaborative and over the past thirty years these activities have been documented by the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC). Here, we (a) highlight recent research advances made with the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana; (b) provide summaries from recent reports submitted by MASC subcommittees, projects and resources associated with MASC and from MASC country representatives; and (c) initiate a call for ideas and foci for the “fourth decadal roadmap,” which will advise and coordinate the global activities of the Arabidopsis research community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00248
JournalPlant Direct
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
GP is supported by UKRI-BBSRC grant GARNet2020 (BB/M004376/1) SMB is partially funded by an HHMI Faculty Scholar Fellowship. BU acknowledges support of his work by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (T?B?TAK) (Grant No: 118Z137).

Funding Information:
Oversight of the Arabidopsis informatics strategy has largely fallen to the International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium (IAIC), which was funded by the NSF until 2020. In 2018 IAIC hosted a workshop in St Louis and its “take home” recommendation was for the establishment of a centralized “annotation authority” to advise on submissions from groups for new gene names across the Arabidopsis pangenome, to establish a consistent naming scheme, to distribute this format regularly and frequently, and to encourage its adoption (International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium, 2019 ). This article also recommends community‐established guidelines and standards for data and metadata formats alongside a searchable, central repository for analysis and visualization tools (such as ). Fortunately, the implementation of these recommendations will be facilitated by a closely linked international community and will undoubtedly be a topic discussed for inclusion within the next roadmap.

Funding Information:
MASC Country representatives provide an opinion on the current status of Arabidopsis research in their countries. It is challenging to obtain a consistent metric for these evaluations as different countries will view their situation from different starting positions. For example, the United Kingdom publishes around 200 Arabidopsis papers per year and there is ~£8M in annual 'Responsive mode' Government funding for “Arabidopsis research” yet this represents a reduction in funding, so the situation is not as healthy as in previous years. However, other countries have low to no funding in research specifically dedicated to Arabidopsis, yet have a positive opinion toward research in this area, for example, “In Brazil even though there is virtually no such funding programs towards Arabidopsis, the number of institutions using Arabidopsis in their research is growing each year. We are seeing a gradual increase in the usage of Arabidopsis as a model plant for molecular and genetic studies due to its power as an easily manipulated model system to investigate gene functions.” Similarly in India, although there is no earmarked financial support for Arabidopsis research from the Government, scientists can compete for grants dedicated for basic science and many projects are regularly funded on Arabidopsis exclusively; “many more projects use Arabidopsis as a system to validate genes from crop plants. Consequently, the overall quality of publications….…has improved considerably.”

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Plant Direct published by American Society of Plant Biologists and the Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Research Network
  • collaboration
  • roadmap

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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