Rice, one of the world's most important food plants, has important syntenic relationships with the other cereal species and is a model plant for the grasses. Here we present a map-based, finished quality sequence that covers 95% of the 389 Mb genome, including virtually all of the euchromatin and two complete centromeres. A total of 37,544 non-transposable-element-related protein-coding genes were identified, of which 71% had a putative homologue in Arabidopsis. In a reciprocal analysis, 90% of the Arabidopsis proteins had a putative homologue in the predicted rice proteome. Twenty-nine per cent of the 37,544 predicted genes appear in clustered gene families. The number and classes of transposable elements found in the rice genome are consistent with the expansion of syntenic regions in the maize and sorghum genomes. We find evidence for widespread and recurrent gene transfer from the organelles to the nuclear chromosomes. The map-based sequence has proven useful for the identification of genes underlying agronomic traits. The additional single-nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats identified in our study should accelerate improvements in rice production.