Rice Genetic Code Broken

Published: Aug 11, 2005

Researchers claimed Wednesday they managed to identify all rice genes. So now it became possible to change the production of the most popular grain. The genetic code of rice, the world's most important crop, has been unravelled in detail by an international team in a project that will also transform research on British crops. The first genetic code of a food crop to be read in detail, the DNA of rice has 400 million genetic letters holding 37,544 genes in all - about 12,000 more genes than humans - and is unveiled today in a scientific journal. Previous studies have reported a draft sequence, but an international consortium has now taken the genetic sequence to the point where it will be much more useful to scientists and plant breeders looking to improve existing rice varieties and develop new ones, both by traditional methods and by genetic modification. The research may help in the development of new ways to improve rice crops. The completed rice genome sequence is published in the Aug. 11 issue of Nature.

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