With the assembly of increasing numbers of plant genomes, it is becoming accepted that a single reference assembly does not reflect the gene diversity of a species. The production of pangenomes, which reflect the structural variation and polymorphisms in genomes, enables in depth comparisons of variation within species or higher taxonomic groups. In this review, we discuss the current and emerging approaches for pangenome assembly, analysis and visualisation. In addition, we consider the potential of pangenomes for applied crop improvement, evolutionary and biodiversity studies. To fully exploit the value of pangenomes it is important to integrate broad information such as phenotypic, environmental, and expression data to gain insights into the role of variable regions within genomes.