Center for Plant Molecular Biology


The Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network (AFGN)


Klaus Harter

Center for Plant Molecular Biology

Plant Physiology
University of Tuebingen
Auf der Morgenstelle 32
72076 Tuebingen

Research on Arabidopsis thaliana has a long history in Germany, and many individual research groups have used this important reference plant for analysing different aspects of plant biology. Two independent programs support research on plant functional genomics in Germany, namely the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network (AFGN), supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the more crop, and therefore application oriented plant genomics research program, GABI, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Both programs work together in close cooperation, with intensive links at both the scientific and the contributor level.
The DFG-supported AFGN was founded by a bottom-up approach of the German Arabidopsis research community in 2001 as a basic research program. AFGN currently funds 25 projects in Germany and has, almost from the start, been organized in close coordination with the 2010 Project of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). Together with many other research programs throughout the world, these programs aim to elucidate the function of all Arabidopsis genes by the year 2010. A coordinated and unique reviewing process of the jointly submitted proposals from US and German research groups was organized for the first time for the projects currently running between the 2010 Project and the AFGN. This coordinated review process will be intensified in the next funding period of AFGN which starts in fall 2007.