Monocotyledons and dicotyledons are distinct, not only in their body plans and developmental patterns, but also in the structural features of their cell walls. The recent completion of the rice (Oryza sativa) genomic sequence and publication of the sequence data, together with the completed database of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, provide the first opportunity to compare the full complement of cell-wall-related genes from the two distinct classes of flowering plants. We made this comparison by exploiting the fact that Arabidopsis and rice have type I and type II walls, respectively, and therefore represent the two extremes in terms of the structural features of plant cell walls. In this review article, we classify all cell-wall-related genes into 32 gene families, and generate their phylogenetic trees. Using these data, we can phylogenetically compare individual genes of particular interest between Arabidopsis and rice. This comparative genome approach shows that the differences in wall architecture in the two plant groups actually mirror the diversity of the individual gene families involved in the cell-wall dynamics of the respective plant species. This study also identifies putative rice orthologs of genes with well-defined functions in Arabidopsis and other plant species.