We are very happy to use all the fantastic opportunities that the Arabidopsis model system offers to plant scientists. Our latest papers in PNAS (Pantazopoulou et al., 2017) and Current Biology (de Wit et al., 2016) are just two examples testifying of this. The versatility of approaches range from molecular reporters (GUS, luciferase, xFPs), transcriptome studies, protein turnover, gene knockouts and over-expression to plant growth and competition studies and even computational modeling. What other plant model can deliver all that together?
Nevertheless, very few of us would argue that Arabidopsis would be the one and only model for everything you’d want to know about plants. Our latest paper in Plant Cell (Gommers et al., 2017) shows how non-model wild plants with different ecologies can learn us new insights about molecular mechanisms to respond to light signals.
Below is an image depicting the plant species we currently use in our lab to study plant architecture in relation to light quality, including two crops (rice and tomato) that we study in so-called public-private collaborations.