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Science Publishes Chinese Scientists' Treatise on Rice Genome


A group of Chinese scientists yesterday unveiled the first draft of the genome sequence of indica, the most widely cultivated subspecies of rice in China and other Asian regions.

The achievement, which will improve quality and output, is hailed as a milestone for agricultural research.

"A Draft Sequence of the Rice Genome", by Yang Huanming at the Beijing Genomics Institute and his colleagues from 10 other Chinese institutions and the University of Washington, in the United States, will be published in the Friday issue of the international journal Science.

In the same issue, a second team, led by Stephen Goff at Syngenta, the Swiss-based agrobiotechnology giant, reports a similar achievement for japonica, another subspecies of rice prevalent in more arid regions.

The genetic code behind rice, a staple for more than half the world's population, "will speed improvements in nutritional quality, crop yield and sustainable agriculture to meet the world's growing needs," said Donald Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Science.

He said the research on the rice genome may prove more significant than the completion of the human genome sequence in improvements to human welfare.

Kennedy also praised the genomic research going on in China. "I don't think there is any question about (China) being a world-class player in genomic research," he said.

"Obviously, the Beijing Genomics Institute and the extensive experience that the genomic community in China has got now put it in a position to continue to do terrific work of all kinds," he said.

"It's good to have this paper represented in our pages," he added.

(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2002)

In This Series

China Establishes Research Institute for Wild Rice

China Makes Breakthrough in Rice Gene Chip

China Cultivates New Rice Species

China Finishes its Part of Rice Gene Sequencing

China Renews World Hybrid Rice Record

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