Why Sequence 1000 Species? For the last couple of decades, the genomics funding model required that a case be made for each species, typically by having a community of interested researchers get together to petition for their species. This made a lot of sense when genomes cost a fortune. It was a transparent procedure by which the funding agencies could prioritize which species got done first. However, the orders of magnitude reduction in costs brought about by the introduction of massively parallel sequencing has rendered this funding model obsolete. Instead of asking which one species to sequence next, we should instead consider important questions that require sequence information from multiple species, and then go get those sequences. It is not important whether we start with plants or animals. Neither is it important what the exact number of species is, other than that it be a large number. 100 seemed too small to impress and 10000 seemed too expensive to begin with. In deference to the microbial community, which has already sequenced 1000 genomes, 1000 seemed like an appropriate target. We began with plants because of past experience (and a belief that sample collection might be easier than with animals). However, 1kp is not a monolithic project. It is a multidisciplinary international consortium, split into a series of subprojects, each with different objectives, some basic and some applied, to reflect the breadth of possibilities with these data.
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