David Meinke is interested in the genetics and functional genomics of seed development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Meinke helped to establish the field of plant developmental genetics, particularly the use of mutants to study plant growth and development, and played an important role in the emergence of Arabidopsis as a model system for basic research in plant biology. His research emphasis has long been the isolation and characterization of embryo-defective mutants of Arabidopsisand the use of these mutants to identify genes with essential cellular functions. Dr. Meinke’s laboratory has contributed to diverse research areas extending from plant cell and developmental biology, metabolism, and genomics, to insertional mutagenesis, genetic mapping, and database curation. Information on a large-scale effort to establish a comprehensive dataset of essential genes in Arabidopsis is summarized at www.seedgenes.org.