Image: Courtesy of National Sciences Foundation

Plant genomics researchers stand at a crossroads. Behind them are the completed genome sequences of rice1 and the model mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana.2 Now, armed with insights gained from both plant and animal sequencing projects, plant biologists must decide how to proceed with future sequencing, proteomics, and functional genomics endeavors--and how to allot precious basic research dollars while, at the same time, keeping more practical agricultural aims in mind.

At a recent National Research Council (NRC) workshop held in Washington, DC, plant and animal biologists discussed plant genomics research priorities for the next five years (2003-2008) of the National Plant Genomics Initiative (NPGI). The workshop, held June 6 and 7, was a first step toward setting the agenda for the second installment of the NPGI, an interagency project started in 1998. The initiative and its charge were the result of plans...

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