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UPDATE: Arabidopsis Genome Finished, to be Published in Nature

This article has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK, Dec 12 - The Arabidopsis thaliana plant genome sequence has been completed and will be published on the cover of the December 14 issue of Nature , according to a statement released Tuesday.

The formal announcement of the genome sequencing is slated for a press conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

In the Nature issue, four articles describe how researchers sequenced the entire genome of this weed, according to the statement.

Arabidopsis is the first plant whose complete genome has been sequenced and it is a model for 250,000 other plants. Scientists are using research on Arabidopsis to make other plants hardier and healthier.

Researchers chose this plant because it has a small amount of genetic material, enabling th e entire life cycle of the plant from seed to flower to be sequenced .  

The Arabidopsis genome was originally slated to be sequenced by 2004, but the sequence process progressed faster than expected.

The Arabidopsis sequence data is published on GenBank, EMBL, and DDBJ, the three international public genome databases.

Further information about this sequence will be available Wednesday afternoon, when the press release embargo is formally lifted.

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