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This study was supported by the Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes through Contract/Grant No. DBI-0722206 between the National Academy of Sciences the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, Contract/Grant No. 59-0206-7-140 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Contract/Grant No. 2007-35300-17910 from USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), and Contract/Grant No. 07-DG-11132650-286 from the USDA Forest Service (USFS). The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the sponsoring agencies, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Cover: Design by Michele de la Menardière.

Photo credits:

Foreground on the left: Inhibition of RNA silencing pathways in Arabidopsis as shown by false-colored scanning electron micrographs of early-stage flowers from wild-type or silencing-defective plants. Blue flowers are the wild-type. This photo was published on the cover of Developmental Cell, Vol. 4, Issue 2, Copyright Elsevier (2003). Reprinted with permission.

Background on the left: Rice field taken during the “Rice Research to Production” course at the International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines in June 2007. Copyright Michael J. Kovach (2007). Reprinted with permission.

Right: Soybeans ready for harvest. Photo by Scott Bauer, ARS Photo Unit.

Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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