National Plant Genome Initiative 2003-2008
Home Executive Summary
Major Accomplishments
Plan for 2003-2008
Cost Estimates for Achieving Objectives

















The National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established in 1998 as a coordinated national plant genome research program by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Plant Genomes with representatives from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Since 1998, the field of plant genomics has made tremendous strides. It has changed the way research is conducted in plant biology; it has attracted a new generation of scientists into the field; and it has contributed new information and knowledge to science. Through development of plant genomic resources, the NPGI has built a foundation on which the scientific community can advance research, not only in plant genomics but also in diverse disciplines ranging from fundamental biological sciences to biotechnology.

In this report, the IWG describes the NPGI plan for next five years (2003 – 2008). The IWG solicited and received input from many sources, which were used as the basis for this plan. 

NPGI Goal Statement

The ultimate goal of the NPGI is to understand the structure and function of all plant genes at levels from the molecular to the organismal and to interactions within ecosystems. The new knowledge and insights gained from plant genomics will lead to unexpected discoveries and conceptual advances in our understanding of the biology of plants. With a focus on plants of economic importance and plant processes of potential economic value, the NPGI will impact applied research related to agriculture,
natural resources, the environment, health, and plant-based industries. 

Guiding Principles for NPGI, 2003-2008

The NPGI will follow the same guiding principles as in the original five-year plan.

  • The Initiative should be viewed as a long-term project, governed by a periodically updated plan based on scientific progress and with stakeholder input as a basis for setting goals and priorities.

  • All research resources, including data, software, germplasm, and other biological materials and research tools should be openly accessible to all in a timely manner.

  • The Federal portion of the Initiative should be coordinated by an interagency working group.

  • All awards should be made based on scientific merit and rigorous, competitive peer review.

  • Partnerships with the private sector and the international community are vital for success.

New Objectives for 2003-2008

Objectives for the next five years of the NPGI will build on recent scientific and technical advances to ensure continued advancement in plant genomics specifically and plant sciences in general. They include:

  • Continued Elucidation of Genome Structure and Organization

  • Functional Genomics – Understanding the Biological Role of Plant Genomic Sequence, Including Gene Sequences, Regulatory Sequences, and Repeated Sequences

  • Translational Plant Genomics – Application of Genomics Tools

  • Bioinformatics in Every Plant Scientist’s Research Tool Box

  • Education, Training and Outreach

  • Consideration of Broader Impacts

In order to capitalize fully on the investments made to date and to enable further advances in plant genome research, the IWG recommends continued and increased investment in the NPGI by all the participating agencies. The funds will continue to be expended on a competitive basis using rigorous peer review. As in the first five years of the NPGI, the IWG will monitor progress and report major accomplishments annually.