Definition of thale cress in US English:

thale cress


  • A small white-flowered plant of north temperate regions, widely used in genetics experiments due to its small number of chromosomes and short life cycle.

    Arabidopsis thaliana, family Brassicaceae

    • ‘For example, thale cress and rice are model species for dicots and monocots, respectively.’
    • ‘Most of the recent experiments that have led to an understanding of how plants use light at those molecular levels were performed on Arabidopsis thaliana, the thale cress.’
    • ‘The annual thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, has a complete life cycle of about 6-8 weeks.’
    • ‘In her Hilo laboratory, Matsumoto is currently fusing ancient knowledge of Chinese firecracker ingredients with contemporary discoveries from a plant called thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana.’
    • ‘She interbred her plants with experimental thale cress that had altered forms of these other interesting genes.’
    • ‘Now the scientists are in the process of moving each of about 50 genes into another model plant, thale cress, for more detailed studies of their function in plants.’


Late 18th century: named after Johann Thal (1542–83), German physician.


thale cress

/ˌTHāl ˈkres/