The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP) involves researchers from ten countries who are working to completely and accurately sequence the rice genome within a short period. Sequencing uses a map-based clone-by-clone shotgun strategy; shared bacterial artificial chromosome/P1-derived artificial chromosome libraries have been constructed from Oryza sativa ssp. japonica variety 'Nipponbare'. End-sequencing, fingerprinting and marker-aided PCR screening are being used to make sequence-ready contigs. Annotated sequences are immediately released for public use and are made available with supplemental information at each IRGSP member's website. The IRGSP works to promote the development of rice and cereal genomics in addition to producing genome sequence data.