Roots are vital for the uptake of water and nutrients, and for anchorage in the soil. They are highly plastic, able to adapt developmentally and physiologically to changing environmental conditions. Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind this growth and development requires knowledge of root transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Genomics approaches, including the recent publication of a root expression map, root proteome, and environment-specific root expression studies, are uncovering complex transcriptional and post-transcriptional networks underlying root development. The challenge is in further capitalizing on the information in these datasets to understand the fundamental principles of root growth and development. In this review, we highlight progress researchers have made toward this goal.