After the elucidation of the sequence of the yeast genome a major effort was started to elucidate the biological function of all open reading frames of this organisms by targeted gene replacement via homologous recombination. The establishment of the complete sequence of the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana would principally allow a similar approach. However, over the past dozen years all attempts to establish an efficient gene targeting technique in flowering plants were in the end not successful. In contrast, in Physcomitrella patens an efficient gene targeting procedure has been set up, making the moss a valuable model system for plant molecular biologists. But also for flowering plants recently several new approaches – some of them based on the availability of the genomic sequence of Arabidopsis – were initiated that might finally result on the set up of a general applicable technique. Beside the production of hyper-recombinogenic plants either via expression or suppression of specific gene functions or via undirected mutagenesis, the application of chimeric oligonucleotides might result in major progress.