2010 marks the 10th anniversary of the completion of the first plant genome sequence (Arabidopsis thaliana). Triggered by advancements in sequencing technologies, many crop genome sequences have been produced, with eight published since 2008. To date, however, only the rice (Oryza sativa) genome sequence has been finished to a quality level similar to that of the Arabidopsis sequence. This trend to produce draft genomes could affect the ability of researchers to address biological questions of speciation and recent evolution or to link sequence variation accurately to phenotypes. Here, we review the current crop genome sequencing activities, discuss how variability in sequence quality impacts utility for different studies and provide a perspective for a paradigm shift in selecting crops for sequencing in the future.
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