The goal of the Plant Ontology Consortium is to produce structured controlled vocabularies, arranged in ontologies, that can be applied to plant-based database information even as knowledge of the biology of the relevant plant taxa (e.g. development, anatomy, morphology, genomics, proteomics) is accumulating and changing. The collaborators of the Plant Ontology Consortium (POC) represent a number of core participant database groups. The Plant Ontology Consortium is expanding the paradigm of the Gene Ontology Consortium (http://www.geneontology.org). Various trait ontologies (agronomic traits, mutant phenotypes, phenotypes, traits, and QTL) and plant ontologies (plant development, anatomy [incl. morphology]) for several taxa (Arabidopsis, maize/corn/Zea mays and rice/Oryza) are under development. The products of the Plant Ontology Consortium will be open-source.