12, 2005: Scientists have completed a seven
year project by successfully mapping the entire rice
genome. The new map, the first of its kind for a crop,
opens rice up to many genetic manipulations both by
making conventional breeding programs more efficient
and by allowing actual modifications to the gene's make-up..
One of these suggested modifications is to graft in
a daffodil gene making the traditionally deficient staple
into a source of vitamin A. It is generally agreed these
types of modification are still years in the future.
More immediate will be strains that survive drought
conditions or cold temperatures. A staple of the developing
world rice is considered, perhaps, the most important
factor in tackling world hunger.
A paper reporting details and analysis of the project
was published yesterday in Nature. For more information
go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/10/AR2005081001054.html?referrer=email&referrer=email