Fifty-five plant genomes have been published to date representing 49 different species (Table 1 includes PubMed IDs for complete reference). What have we learned from the first wave of plant genomes? It has been said that plant genome papers (and genome papers in general) are dry and lack “biology” and that the days of high impact plant genome papers are drawing to a close unless they explore significant biology. However, with each new genome, earlier observations are refined and plant genome papers continue to reveal novel aspects of genome biology. For example, the tomato and banana genome papers refined current thinking on the whole genome duplications (WGD) that shaped dicot and monocot genome evolution (D’Hont et al., 2012; Tomato Genome Consortium, 2012). These observations were enabled not only by high quality genome assemblies but also by a greater number of genomes available for com- parisons. In addition, the initial round of plant genomes enabled the first generation of functional genomics that helped to define the roles of hundreds of genes, provided unprecedented access to sequence-based markers for breeding, and provided glimpses into plant evolutionary history. More genomes, representing the diverse array of species in Viridiplantae are still required to gain a full understanding of plant genome structure, evolution, and complexity.
Journal: The Plant genome