Bactris is one of the largest neotropical palm genera, and one of the most poorly known taxonomically. The aim of the research proposed here is to provide a taxonomic treatment of three sections, containing approximately 40 species, as a preliminary to a revision of the whole genus for Flora Neotropica. Bactris is widespread throughout the neotropics, from Mexico south to Bolivia, and also in the Caribbean. The Amazon basin contains the greatest concentration of species. Approximately 350 names exist, but there are probably nearer 120 actual species. The genus is important for several reasons. It contains the economically important B. gasipaes, the source of edible fruits which are grown and consumed throughout the humid Neotropics. The ancestors of this cultivated species are unknown, and yet are of great interest to agronomists. Other species provide a host of minor products. The genus is important in the lowland tropical forest ecosystems, and is a conspicuous component of the understory. Despite its large size and economic importance, the genus is very poorly understood. A recent phylogenetic analysis has divided the genus into four sections, three of which will be revised in the project proposed here. The methods used for this revision will include field collecting in critical areas and analysis of morphology, pollen morphology, stigma morphology and leaf anatomy from herbarium specimens and pickled material.