Plant genetics research. Thale cress plants, Arabidopsis thaliana, growing in a culture medium. The roots (lower frame) have fine root hairs growing horizontally out of them, which help to anchor the plant and absorb water and nutrients. Leaves (green) are growing on the stems in upper frame. A. thaliana is mainly used as an international plant standard for genetic research. This is because of its short generation time, high seed production, small genome (genetic sequence) and ease of genetic manipulation. Research into A. thaliana is vital for improving our understanding of crop plants. The culture medium (blue) provides the plant with the nutrients it needs to survive.
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