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International Research Group, Including TIGR, Finishes Rice Sequence

NEW YORK, Aug. 11 (GenomeWeb News) - The multi-institutional International Rice Genome Sequencing Project has sequenced the rice genome, the second plant genome completed, and has published the completed sequence in the Aug. 11 issue of Nature.


The completed sequence revealed 37,544 genes in the approximately 400 million bases that make up the 12 chromosomes of Oryza sativa subspecies japonica, The Institute for Genomic Research, an IRGSP collaborator, said in a statement.


The sequence can be found  here. The researchers released a draft sequence of the strain in 2002.


In rice and other cereals, such as maize, wheat, barley, the genome sequence will accelerate the search for genes that can increase crop yields and protect against disease, pests, and drought, TIGR said.


The japonica subspecies is cultivated mainly in Japan, Korea, and the United States, according to the statement.


In addition to TIGR, the UScontingent in the IRGSP includes: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; the Universityof Arizona; RutgersUniversity; WashingtonUniversityin St. Louis; and the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison. The project also includes groups from Japan, China, India, Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Japanleads the IRGSP.


Major funding for TIGR's portion of the project came from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, TIGR said.


TIGR researchers sequenced about 10 percent of the staple-food crop's completed genome, which builds upon earlier drafts produced by Monsanto and Syngenta, TIGR said. The institute will spend the next four years annotating the rice sequence, it said.