WASHINGTON--Sources told BioInform last month that three US agencies will soon announce a collaborative funding program for rice genome sequencing. The US National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, and US Department of Agriculture together will provide $4 million a year for three years to support international efforts to sequence rice. According to an administrator from the agriculture department, the funding could contribute to sequencing 10-25 percent of the rice genome. A larger portion of the rice sequence is expected to be completed by projects that are supported by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture. Japan is considered the world leader in rice genome sequencing.
Officials said the agencies planned to post a request for proposals on the internet in February. Projects that demonstrate links to the international sequencing effort will be given strongest consideration, an administrator told BioInform, adding that projects with private-sector support would also be encouraged to apply for the funding.