NEW YORK, Dec. 18 - Scientists today announced the completion of a draft of the rice genome Oryza sativa japonica.
Researchers called the draft a "high quality, genetic blue-print" of the genome.
"The rice genome's sequence is crucial to our scientific understanding of the staples of life," Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation, said in a statement. "With this data we open new doors at all levels of research [including] universities, private industry and government."
The genome is scheduled to be completed in 2005, according to The Institute for Genomic Research, a partner in the international project.
In November, the collaboration published the full sequences of chromosomes one and four out of a total of 12 chromosomes in the 430 million base pair genome. The public effort was launched in 1998
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