Rice Genome Fully Decoded By International Science Team
An international team of scientists has fully decoded the rice genome, a feat that could help breed new varieties of grains more resistant to diseases and the elements, a Japanese researcher revealed. Takuji Sasaki said that the group had completed mapping some 370 million -- or 95 percent -- out of 390 million base pairs of genome with an accuracy of 99.99 percent. The ratio of 95 percent is the upper limit that is technically possible under current techniques, he said Monday. The new research follows a December 2002 announcement from the consortium that it had deciphered the genome after mapping of 92 percent of it, an event hailed then as "as epoch-making as the decoding of the human genome" by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi .