BACKGROUND: Although, systematic analysis of gene annotation is a powerful tool for interpreting gene expression data, it sometimes is blurred by incomplete gene annotation, missing expression response of key genes and secondary gene expression responses. These shortcomings may be partially circumvented by instead matching gene expression signatures to signatures of other experiments. FINDINGS: To facilitate this we present the Functional Association Response by Overlap (FARO) server, that match input signatures to a compendium of 242 gene expression signatures, extracted from more than 1700 Arabidopsis microarray experiments. CONCLUSIONS: Hereby we present a publicly available tool for robust characterization of Arabidopsis gene expression experiments which can point to similar experimental factors in other experiments. The server is available at http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/faro/.