capability can now be leveraged to accelerate the translation of basic discovery to agriculture. The predictive manipulation of plant growth will affect agriculture at a time when food security, diminution of lands available for agricultural use, stewardship of the environment, and climate change are all issues of growing public concern.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the federal sponsors of the NPGI—the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture—approached the National Research Council for help in determining goals for the NPGI in the timeframe 2003–2008. In response to the request, the Research Council established a committee to study the future directions of plant biology and genomics and to recommend priorities for the 2003–2008 phase of the NPGI. The work of the committee was informed by a 2-day workshop held at the National Academy of Sciences on June 6–7, 2002. On the basis of discussions at the workshop and additional information, the committee developed a set of recommendations, which are summarized below and detailed in the full report. The recommendations rest, in part, on:
Progress of the NPGI to date.
The availability of data, software, methods, tools, biologic, and other genomics-related resources for various plant species.
The ability of research and development user communities to absorb and rapidly exploit gene-sequence information and other genomics tools.
The potential for international collaboration in new plant-genome activities.
The need to advance a variety of efforts in plant research and applications as rapidly as possible was balanced with the desire to proceed as economically as possible.