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

enhancements from Monsanto should further facilitate the completion of a physical map for the rice genome."

In addition to sharing its data with the IRGSP, Monsanto established a rice genome database at www.rice-research.org, which makes the data available at no charge, mainly to publicly funded researchers. Since the database was established, more than 650 researchers, many located in developing countries, have obtained access to Monsantos rice genome sequence data.

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) are using the database in a project to understand how deepwater rice, a subsistence crop in areas of Southeast Asia, survives the yearly floods that would destroy all other crops during monsoon season. MSU researchers are using deepwater rice as a model plant to study the action of plant hormones in rapid stem elongation, a response that helps the rice to grow out of the water when it becomes submerged.

"Access to Monsanto's rice genome database has allowed us to supplement our own database of information and to complete several essential experiments," said Hans Kende, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Biology at MSU and member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "The data are aiding us in identifying the biochemical basis for the growth potential of deepwater rice, which is a low-yielding type of rice. Scientist may then be able to enhance the growth potential of high yielding rice cultivars, thereby making them suitable for cultivation in deep water."

"It is hoped that results of this work will benefit people in Southeast Asia who depend on deepwater rice as a staple source of nourishment."

Rice serves as a research model for other crops, including sorghum and millet, two foods a recent report by the United Nations Development Program singled out as being a priority for additional research in developing countries. The Human Development Report 2001 also encouraged greater public investment in research and development to ensure
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Contact: Shannon Troughton
314-694-2320
Monsanto Company
1-Aug-2001


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