In the two years since Monsanto Company made its rice genome data available to the global research community, the timetable for completing the rice genome has accelerated by six years.
On April 4, 2000, Monsanto Company announced a major breakthrough in decoding the genetic make-up of rice, and the companys commitment to sharing its data with the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP), a multi-country consortium of research institutes working to publish the complete rice genome sequence.
The IRGSP has recently adopted a new strategy aimed at completion of the rice genome by late 2002, six years ahead of the original estimate of 2008, according to a recent progress report by the National Science and Technology Councils National Plant Genome Initiative. The new strategy takes advantage of the availability of rough draft sequence from Monsanto. This document is available at http://www.ostp.gov/html/plantgenome/intro.html.
Monsanto completed its transfer of raw draft data and research materials from its rice genome sequencing project to the IRGSP in August 2000, and Monsanto scientists continue to assist the IRGSP with physical map information. According to the IRGSP, the information shared by Monsanto currently supports approximately 30 percent of the publicly available rice genomic sequence data. This percentage continues to grow as the project nears completion.
Since Monsanto's genome sequencing data was made available nearly two years ago, there has been an enormous increase in the amount of sequence data being deposited in public databases, said Ben Burr, co-lead of the IRGSP. The result is an expanded knowledge base for the community of scientists working on rice and related crops.
This new body of information has provided countries
Contact: Shannon Troughton