Welcome to the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee!

History and Purpose

The Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC) has its origin in the 1990s when scientists from the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia formed an ad hoc committee to promote large-scale studies in Arabidopsis thaliana. One of the main aims of the committee was and still is to strengthen international collaboration and coordination, to reduce redundancy and to help in guiding the community in making progress on projects that can be successful only by combined international efforts. This idea of a combined and coordinated effort accompanied by the policy of open data sharing has proven successful and led to the establishment of Arabidopsis thaliana as a reference plant and the Arabidopsis community as being one of the most active research communities. Arabidopsis researchers can look back on more than 40 successful  years - having published the first fully sequenced plant genome, functionally annotated most genes, and developed  a plethora of techniques, tools and resources. Within the previous 20 years two MASC road maps guided Arabidopsis research: ‘The Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana - Genome Research Project’ in the 1990s and ‘The Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Functional Genomics Project’ in the 2000s. The third MASC road map was published in 2012 ‘The Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee - From bench to bountiful harvests’ (Lavagi et al., 2012, Plant Cell, 24:2240-2247). The main aim of the Arabidopsis community stated in the third road map is to obtain in-depth knowledge of how the genome is translated into a continuum of processes, from the single molecule to cells and tissues, the whole plant, plant populations, and fields of plants to be able to build a predictive model of an Arabidopsis plant, which is accompanied by the development of big data management systems. Additionally, Arabidopsis researchers have put increased effort into outreach to other plant communities and into translational approaches to allow effective exchange of information. 

Composition and Responsibilities

The Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC) is composed of representatives from each country with major efforts in Arabidopsis research or coalition of countries with smaller programs. It is open to any country interested in participating. Selection of MASC representatives is left to the discretion of each country. The MASC meets once a year in conjunction with the International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR). Rotating MASC chairs and co-chairs are selected from the MASC membership, including country representatives and subcommittee members. Specific responsibilities of the MASC are:

  • To coordinate programmatic aspects of the Arabidopsis research world-wide.
  • To facilitate open communication and free exchange of data, materials and ideas among the Arabidopsis research community.
  • To monitor and summarize progress of scientific activities of participating laboratories.
  • To identify needs and opportunities of the Arabidopsis research community and communicate them to funding agencies of participating nations.
  • To periodically update and adjust the course of the project

MASC structure

Below you can find the overview of the MASC and its members. By clicking on the green buttons you will find more information about the MASC subcommittees, the MASC countries and the Arabidopsis community projects and resources.


Nick Provart

Siobhan Brady

Geraint Parry



Nicholas Provart (chair)

Sébastien Aubourg
Sean May
Klaus Mayer
Yasukazu Nakamura
Yves van de Peer
Chris Town
Tesuro Toyoda

Motoaki Seki (chair)
Joe Ecker (co-chair)

Ian Small
Chris Town

Toshiro Ito and Isabel Baurle (co-chairs)

Craig Pikaard

Rob Martienssen

Bob Schmitz

Doris Wagner

Kazuki Saito (chair)
Wolfram Weckwerth (co-chair)

Mike Beale
Alisdair Fernie
Oliver Fiehn
Tony Larson
Rob Last
Basil Nikolau

J. Chris Pires (chair)
Brian P. Dilkes (co-chair)

Justin Borevitz
Graham King
Dan Kliebenstein
Marcus A. Koch
Nicholas Provart
M. Eric Schranz
Detlef Weigel

Fabio Fiorani (co-chair)
Christine Granier (co-chair)

Justin Borewitz
John Doonan
Joe Ecker

Joshua Hazelwood (chair)

Alexandra Jones (co-chair)

Katja Bärenfaller
Sacha Baginsky
Hans-Peter Braun
Steve Briggs
Geert De Jaeger

Harvey Millar
Hans-Peter Mock
Hirofumi Nakagami
Scott Peck
Loïc Rajjou
Sigrun Reumann
Norbert Rolland
Véronique Santoni
Waltraud Schulze
Nicolas Taylor
Jay Thelen
Klaas van Wijk
Wolfram Weckwerth
Julian Whitelegge
Stefanie Wienkoop

Siobhan Brady (co-chair)
Malcom Bennett (co-chair)

Gloria Coruzzi
Pascal Falter-Braun
Rodrigo A. Gutiérrez
Gabriel Krouk
Susannah Lyndon

Dario Bonetta

United States
Joanna Friesner
Elizabeth Haswell

Doris Wagner

North American Arabidopsis Steering
Committee (NAASC)


Barry Pogson

Yuling Jiao

Jitendra P. Khurana
Ramamurthy Srinivasan

Sigal Savaldi-Goldstein

Minami Matsui
Keiko Sugimoto

New Zealand
Lynette Brownfield

South Korea
Inhwan Hwang

Marcelo J. Yanovsky

Wagner Araújo
Adriano Nunes-Nesi

Rodrigo A. Gutiérrez
María Francisca Blanco

Marie-Theres Hauser

Moritz K. Nowack

Czech Republic
Viktor Žárský

Michael Broberg Palmgren

Michael Wrzaczek

Catherine Perrot-Rechenmann
Loïc Lepiniec

Klaus Harter

Polydefkis Hatzopoulos

László Szabados

Charles Spillane

Maura Cardarelli

Sacco de Vries

Ana Caño-Delgado
José Luis Micol Molina

Maria Eriksson

Kentaro K. Shimizu

United Kingdom
Geraint Parry