First Arabidopsis Symposium in Taiwan Held at NCKU

TAINAN, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The first Arabidopsis Symposium in Taiwan was held at Department of Life Science of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan, on Sept. 24-25, with world-renowned scholars and researchers from Germany and Japan exchanging knowledge regarding Arabidopsis.

Arabidopsis thaliana in the genus Arabidopsis -- the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced -- is one of the model organisms used for studying plant biology, according to Professor Tzen-Yuh Chiang at Department of Life Science, NCKU.

Jiang stressed that in the future NCKU will provide domestic and international institutions with high-quality plant material of Arabidopsis to improve the capacity of academic research on plant science-related fields.

“Contemporary plant scientists know that Arabidopsis is one of the most important model systems in plant science,” said Professor Marcus A. Koch from Heidelberg University, Germany.

Koch said, “There is at least one native species in Arabidopsis indigenous to Taiwan.” In this symposium, scholars who have spent decades studying Arabidopsis enjoyed the time exchanging ideas and explored the possibility for further cooperation, Koch added.

In 2000, Arabidopsis was the first completely genome sequenced plant and so far 25,500 genes have been found and widely studied, according to Dr. Peter H. Raven, president emeritus of Missouri Botanical Garden, U.S.A., who noted that in the last few decades, Arabidopsis has gained much interest from scientists as a model organism for research on numerous aspects of plant biology.

Raven indicated that Arabidopsis is hardly a significant plant in agriculture but it is of great interest recently for its importance as a prototype in studying the gene mapping and sequencing.

The symposium, sponsored by National Science Council and NCKU, was organized by Professor Koch from Germany; Professor Naoki Osada, National Institute of Genetics, Japan; Professor Hao-Jen Huang, NCKU; and Professor Tzen-Yuh Chiang, NCKU.

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Source: National Cheng Kung University