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Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies are expected to play a key role in realizing the next generation scalable and flexible passive optical networks (PONs). One candidate is WDM-PON, in which each optical network unit (ONU) uses a different wavelength, i.e., a unique wavelength, in each direction to communicate with the optical line terminal. Another candidate is WDM/time-division multiplexing (TDM)-PON; it combines WDM with TDM technology. This paper reviews recent state-of-the-art research on the enabling technologies needed to realize future WDM-PON and WDM/TDM-PON systems, and discusses future directions toward practical PON systems.