NEW YORK, July 19 - Scientists from 11 countries announced Thursday the establishment of an international consortium that hopes to sequence the banana genome within five years.

The group, which met this week at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., have agreed to divide up the banana genome for sequencing, which with just 11 chromosomes and a total of 500,000 to 600,000 base pairs, is one of the smallest plants.

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