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Monsanto and researchers celebrate first anniversary of sharing rice genome sequence data

Unique public-private initiative expands scientific knowledge and speeds rice project

ST. LOUIS (August 1, 2001) One year after Monsanto Company made its draft rice genome sequence data available to the worldwide research community, the data has significantly expanded scientific knowledge and accelerated research projects. These projects can lead to more nutritious and higher yielding rice, a staple crop that contributes to food security in developing countries.

"Monsantos goal in sharing this data is to facilitate and encourage research to improve rice and related crops around the world, and we are excited that this goal is being realized," said Hendrik Verfaillie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto Company. "After just one year, the results of this initiative are substantiating our companys belief that sharing technology benefits both people and science."

In August 2000, Monsanto completed the transfer of raw draft data and research materials from its rice genome sequencing project to the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP), a multi-country consortium of research institutes working to publish the complete rice genome sequence. The IRGSP recently confirmed that its members have significantly accelerated their timetable for complete publication of the sequence, in large part due to the use of Monsantos draft data.

"In the year since Monsanto's genome sequencing data was made available, 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 cereal species."

"Availability of the sequence data, and the willingness of Monsanto scientists to work with the IRGSP, has enabled project scientists to plan for and implement a complete, high quality draft sequence of the rice genome to be completed next year. Continued
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Contact: Shannon Troughton
314-694-2320
Monsanto Company
1-Aug-2001


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