Toward the end of August 2000, the 6.3 Mbp whole genome sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1 was published. With 5570 open reading frames (ORFs), PAO1 had the largest microbial genome sequenced up to that point in time-including a large proportion of metabolic, transport and antimicrobial resistance genes supporting its ability to colonize diverse environments. A remarkable 9% of its ORFs were predicted to encode proteins with regulatory functions, providing new insight into bacterial network complexity as a function of network size. In this celebratory article, we fast forward 20 years, and examine how access to this resource has transformed our understanding of P. aeruginosa. What follows is more than a simple review or commentary; we have specifically asked some of the leaders in the field to provide personal reflections on how the PAO1 genome sequence, along with the Pseudomonas Community Annotation Project (PseudoCAP) and Pseudomonas Genome Database (pseudomonas.com), have contributed to the many exciting discoveries in this field. In addition to bringing us all up to date with the latest developments, we also ask our contributors to speculate on how the next 20 years of Pseudomonas research might pan out.
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