Whole-genome sequencing is at the cutting edge of life sciences in the new millennium. Since the first genome sequencing of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in 2000, whole genomes of about 70 plant species have been sequenced and genome sequences of several other plants are in the pipeline. Research publications on these genome initiatives are scattered on dedicated web sites and in journals with all too brief descriptions.
The individual volumes elucidate the background history of the national and international genome initiatives; public and private partners involved; strategies and genomic resources and tools utilized; enumeration on the sequences and their assembly; repetitive sequences; gene annotation and genome duplication. In addition, synteny with other sequences, comparison of gene families and most importantly potential of the genome sequence information for gene pool characterization and genetic improvement of crop plants are described.