Posted August 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 actually modifying
the original gene 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