Arabidopsis thaliana and its wild relatives: A model system for ecology and evolution
The postgenomics era will bring many changes to ecology and evolution. Information about genomic sequence and function provides a new foundation for organismal biology. The crucifer Arabidopsis thaliana and its wild relatives will play an important role in this synthesis of genomics and ecology. We discuss the need for model systems in ecology, the biology and relationships of crucifers, and the molecular resources available for these experiments. The scientific potential of this model system is illustrated by several recent studies in plant-insect interactions, developmental plasticity, comparative genomics and molecular evolution.
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