name = "Arabidopsis"

image_caption = Thale Cress ("Arabidopsis thaliana")
regnum = Plantae
unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
unranked_classis = Eudicots
unranked_ordo = Rosids
ordo = Brassicales
familia = Brassicaceae
genus = "Arabidopsis"
genus_authority = Heynh. in Holl & Heynh.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.|

"Arabidopsis" ("A-ra-bi-dóp-sis", rockcress) is a genus in the family Brassicaceae. They are small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard. This genus is of great interest since it contains thale cress ("Arabidopsis thaliana"), one of the model organisms used for studying plant biology and the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced. Changes in thale cress are easily observed, making it a very useful model.


Currently the genus "Arabidopsis" has nine species and a further eight subspecies recognised. This delimitation is quite recent, and is based on morphological and molecular phylogenies by O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz (1997, 2003) and others.

Their findings confirm that the species formerly included in "Arabidopsis" made it polyphyletic. The most recent reclassification moves two species previously placed in "Cardaminopsis" and "Hylandra" and three species of "Arabis" into "Arabidopsis", but excludes 50 species that have been moved into the new genera "Beringia, Crucihimalaya, Ianhedgea, Olimarabidopsis", and "Pseudoarabidopsis".

All of the species in "Arabidopsis" are indigenous to Europe, while two of the species have broad ranges also extending into North America and Asia.

In the last two decades, "A. thaliana" has gained much interest from the scientific community as a model organism for research in plant systematics. In Europe, the model organism resource centre for "Arabidopsis" germplasm, bioinformatics and molecular biology resources (including GeneChips) is the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock CentreNASC.

List of species and subspecies

*"Arabidopsis arenosa" (L.) Lawalrée, :"A. arenosa" subsp. "arenosa"::Distribution: Europe: native in Austria, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, NE France, Germany, Hungary, N Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia; naturalized in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and W Siberia, and Sweden; absent in Albania, Greece, C and S Italy, and Turkey.

:"A. arenosa" subsp. "borbasii"::Distribution: E Belgium, Czech Republic, NE France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine. Doubtfully occurring in Denmark.

*"Arabidopsis cebennensis" (D.C.)::Distribution: SE France.

*"Arabidopsis croatica" (Schott)::Distribution: Bosnia, Croatia.

*"Arabidopsis halleri" (L.):"A. halleri" subsp. "halleri"::Distribution: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, N and C Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and S Ukraine. Probably introduced in N France and extinct in Belgium.

:"A. halleri" subsp. "ovirensis" (Wulfen)::Distribution: Albania, Austria, NE Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, SW Ukraine, Yugoslavia.

:"A. halleri" subsp. "gemmifera" (Matsumura)::Distribution: Russian Far East, northeastern China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

*"Arabidopsis lyrata" (L.) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz:"A. lyrata" subsp. "lyrata"::Distribution: NE European Russia, Alaska, Canada (Ontario west into British Columbia), and southeastern and central United States (Vermont south into northern Georgia and Mississippi northward into Missouri and Minnesota).

:"A. lyrata" subsp. "petraea" (Linnaeus) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz::Distribution: Austria, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, N. Italy, Norway, Russia (NW Russia, Siberia and Far East), Scotland, Sweden, Ukraine, boreal North America (Alaska and Yukon). Apparently extinct in Poland.

:"A. lyrata" subsp. "kamchatica" (Fischer ex D.C.) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz::Distribution: boreal Alaska, Canada (Yukon, Mackenzie District, British Columbia, northern Saskatchewan), Aleutian Islands, eastern Siberia, the Russian Far East, Korea, northern China, Japan, and Taiwan.

*"Arabidopsis neglecta" (Schultes)::Distribution: Carpathian Mountains (Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and adjacent Ukraine).

*"Arabidopsis pedemontana" (Boiss.)::Distribution: northwestern Italy and, presumably extinct, in adjacent SW Switzerland.

*"Arabidopsis suecica" (Fries) Norrlin, Meddel.::Distribution: Fennoscandinavia and the Baltic region.

*"Arabidopsis thaliana" (L.) Heynh.::Distribution: native range almost all Europe to central Asia, now naturalized worldwide.


Cytogenetic analysis has shown that the haploid chromosome number is variable and can be n = 5, 8, 13, and 16.

"A. thaliana" is n=5 and the DNA sequencing of this species was completed in 2001.

"A. suecica" is n=13 and is an amphidiploid species originated through hybridization between "A. thaliana" and diploid "A. arenosa".

"A. neglecta" is n=8 as are the various subspecies of "A. halleri".

Various subspecies of "A. lyrata" and "A. arenosa" can be either n=8 (diploid) or n=16 (tetraploid).

As of 2005, "A. cebennensis", "A. croatica" and "A. pedemontana" have not been investigated cytologically.

Reclassified species

The following species previously placed in "Arabidopsis" are not currently considered part of the genus.
*"A. bactriana" =
*"A. brevicaulis" = "Crucihimalaya himalaica"
*"A. bursifolia" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. campestris" = "Crucihimalaya wallichii"
*"A. dentata" = "Murbeckiella pinnatifida"
*"A. drassiana" =
*"A. erysimoides" = "Erysimum hedgeanum"
*"A. eseptata" = "Olimarabidopsis umbrosa"
*"A. gamosepala" = "Neotorularia gamosepala"
*"A. glauca" = "Thellungiella salsuginea"
*"A. griffithiana" = "Olimarabidopsis pumila"
*"A. himalaica" = "Crucihimalaya himalaica"
*"A. huetii" = "Murbeckiella huetii"
*"A. kneuckeri" = "Crucihimalaya kneuckeri"
*"A. korshinskyi" = "Olimarabidopsis cabulica"
*"A. lasiocarpa" = "Crucihimalaya lasiocarpa"
*"A. minutiflora" = "Ianhedgea minutiflora"
*"A. mollis" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. mollissima" = "Crucihimalaya mollissima"
*"A. monachorum" = "Crucihimalaya lasiocarpa"
*"A. mongolica" = "Crucihimalaya mongolica"
*"A. multicaulis" = "Arabis tibetica"
*"A. novae-anglicae" = "Neotorularia humilis"
*"A. nuda" = "Drabopsis nuda"
*"A. ovczinnikovii" = "Crucihimalaya mollissima"
*"A. parvula" = "Thellungiella parvula"
*"A. pinnatifida" = "Murbeckiella pinnatifida"
*"A. pumila" = "Olimarabidopsis pumila"
*"A. qiranica" = "Sisymbriopsis mollipila"
*"A. richardsonii" = "Neotorularia humilis"
*"A. russeliana" = "Crucihimalaya wallichii"
*"A. salsuginea" = "Thellungiella salsuginea"
*"A. sarbalica" = "Crucihimalaya wallichii"
*"A. schimperi" = "Robeschia schimperi"
*"A. stenocarpa" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. stewartiana" = "Olimarabidopsis pumila"
*"A. stricta" = "Crucihimalaya stricta"
*"A. taraxacifolia" = "Crucihimalaya wallichii"
*"A. tenuisiliqua" = "Arabis tenuisiliqua"
*"A. tibetica" = "Crucihimalaya himalaica"
*"A. tibetica" = "Arabis tibetica"
*"A. toxophylla" = "Pseudoarabidopsis toxophylla"
*"A. trichocarpa" = "Neotorularia humilis"
*"A. trichopoda" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. tschuktschorum" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. tuemurnica" = "Neotorularia humilis"
*"A. verna" = "Drabopsis nuda"
*"A. virgata" = "Beringia bursifolia"
*"A. wallichii" = "Crucihimalaya wallichii"
*"A. yadungensis" =


*O'Kane Jr, S. L., & Al-Shehbaz, I. A. (1997). A synopsis of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae): "Novon" 7: 323–327.
*Al-Shehbaz, I. A., O'Kane, Steve L. (2002). Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae). "The Arabidopsis Book": 1-22. [ online version] .
*O'Kane Jr, S. L., & Al-Shehbaz, I. A. (2003). Phylogenetic position and generic limits of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae) based on sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA: "Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden" 90 (4): 603-612

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