Sequence data is crucial to our understanding of crop growth and development, as differences in DNA sequence are responsible for almost all of the heritable differences between crop varieties and ecotypes. The sequence of a genome is often referred to as the genetic blueprint, and is the foundation for all additional information from the genome to the phenome. The value of DNA sequence is leading to rapid improvements in sequencing technology, increasing throughput, and reducing costs, and technological advances are accelerating with the introduction of novel approaches that are replacing the traditional Sanger-based methods. As genome sequencing becomes cheaper, it will be applied to a greater number of species with increasingly large and complex genomes. This will increase our understanding of how differences in the sequence relate to phenotypic observations, heritable traits, speciation, and evolution. Our understanding of plants will be greatly enhanced by this flow of sequence information, with direct benefit for crop improvement.