In the 14 December Nature the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI) announces the completion of the first plant genome sequence. The published sequence covers 115.4 megabases of the estimated 125-megabase genome of the thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana, a model plant. The sequence contains 25,498 genes encoding proteins from 11,000 families. The gene number is high for two reasons: an ancient diploidization, and the presence of 1,528 tandem arrays (containing 4,140 individual genes), which probably arose after unequal crossing-over events during recombination.

After publication of the sequence of Arabidopsis chromosome 2 and chromosome 4 last year, the new reports cover the remaining sequences of chromosomes 1 (Theologis et al., Nature 2000, 408:816-820), 3 (Salanoubat et al., Nature 2000, 408:820-822) and 5 (Tabata et al., Nature 2000, 408:823-826). There is also a lengthy analysis of the whole sequence by the entire AGI team (Nature...

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