Large numbers of genes are being discovered on a daily basis for a variety of organisms including Arabidopsis thaliana. To obtain more functional information on these genes, efficient expression monitoring methods need to be developed. In this report we studied the steady-state mRNA levels of over 800 Arabidopsis genes in parallel using high-density arrays of partially sequenced cDNA. The technology is simple and robust and reliably permits the detection of down to twofold variation in mRNA levels. The detection limit lies below 0.01% of the total mRNA population. The comparison of the profiles obtained for light-grown and dark-grown seedlings revealed significant variations in mRNA levels for about 16% of the cDNA investigated. This technology not only provides new functional information on anonymous genes, and thus may guide reverse-genetics approaches, but also constitutes a powerful tool for global gene expression studies, with many potential applications in plant biology.