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Historically, obtaining the complete sequence of eukaryotic genomes has been an expensive and complex task. For this reason, efforts to sequence insect genomes have largely been confined to model organisms, species that are important to human health and representative species from a few insect orders. This situation is set to change as a number of ‘next generation’ sequencing technologies are making largescale DNA sequencing both affordable and accessible. Sequencing the genome of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, is likely to become a realistic proposition within the next 2 years. In the meantime, there is an active community of Diabrotica geneticists and biologists who are working to assemble the resources that will be needed for a genome sequencing project. A western corn rootworm genome sequence will be an invaluable resource that will facilitate research into the genetics, evolution and ecology of a major pest of maize agriculture in North America and Europe.