The Peopling of the Americas

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Science  04 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5284, pp. 31-33
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5284.31


Last week the U.S. government put up $12.7 million to begin large-scale sequencing of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small, flowering member of the mustard family. The awards will fund the U.S. portion of an international collaboration that will attempt to decipher the plant's entire genome by 2004. Arabidopsis has several features that make sequencing its genome a worthwhile challenge. Sequencing Arabidopsis should also have a significant impact on plant science, because all 250,000 species of flowering plants, from corn to tulips to cherry trees, are genetically very similar.