In addition to the Arabidopsis and rice genomic sequences, numerous expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and sequenced tag sites are now available for many species. These tools have made it possible to re-evaluate the extent of synteny and collinearity not only between Arabidopsis and related crops or between rice and other cereals but also between Arabidopsis and rice, between Arabidopsis and other dicots, and between cereals other than rice. Major progress in describing synteny relies on statistical tests. Overall, the data point to the occurrence of ancestral genome fragments in which a framework of common markers can be recognised. Micro-synteny studies reveal numerous rearrangements, which are likely to complicate map-based cloning strategies that use information from a model genome.