Arguably the most-studied plant in the world is the mouse-eared cress, Arabidopsis thaliana. Its small size and rapid life-cycle (about 50 days) make it ideal for experimental investigation. Arabidopsis was the first plant to have all of its genes sequenced. Individual genes can now be linked with their biochemical functions, providing a road map to understanding plant development across all of plant-kind.
The movie, Arabidopsis thaliana: A Life shows a plant playing out its 6-week life from germination, through growth, flowering, and seed formation, to ensuing death. The background of color-coded visual data indicates the activation state of genes during each life stage.
The activity of many genes must be finely orchestrated for any individual—plant or human—to successfully grow and develop through all stages of life.