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Klaas Vandepoele (VIB - Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)Comparative sequence analysis has significantly altered our view on the complexity of genome organization, gene function and regulatory pathways. To explore all genome information, a centralized infrastructure is required where all data generated by different sequencing centers is integrated and combined with advanced data mining tools. We describe PLAZA, an online platform for plant comparative genomics that integrates structural/functional annotation of published plant genomes together with a large set of interactive tools to study gene function and genome evolution. Data sets cover homologous gene families, multiple sequence alignments, phylogenetic trees, intra-species whole-genome dotplots and genomic colinearity between species. Advanced query systems and multiple interactive visualization tools are available through a user-friendly web interface. In addition, detailed documentation/tutorials introduce the different tools while the workbench provides an efficient means to analyze user-defined gene sets. PLAZA provides a comprehensible and up-to-date research environment to aid researchers in the exploration of genome information within plants.