Angiosperm genomes show tremendous variability in genome size and chromosome number. Nevertheless, comparative genetic mapping has revealed genome collinearity of closely related species. Sequence-based comparisons were used to assess the conservation of gene arrangements. Numerous small rearrangements, insertions/deletions, duplications, inversions and translocations have been detected. Importantly, comparative sequence analyses have unambiguously shown micro-collinearity of distantly related plant species. Duplications and subsequent gene loss have been identified as a particular important factor in the evolution of plant genomes.