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200,000 rice mutants available worldwide for scientific investigation

le plants suits many of the experimental objectives of researchers looking at rice and other commercially important grasses. Mapping of the remaining genes from this population will be required to complete the resource. Many of them will be smaller genes less amenable to mutation that will pose significant challenges for researchers as they continue their work.

Dr. Andy Pereira, Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, stated: "The Oryza sativa genome was sequenced in 2002 and researchers have come a long way since. Advances in technologies such as high-throughput sequencing and RNA interference gene silencing methods should help to accelerate the process of identifying the functions of the remaining genes in the rice genome." He added: "The availability of the rice mutant resource is already helping researchers in their quest to gain insights into the biology of this commercially important crop. These efforts are critical to understand gene function and, ultimately, the many biological processes that take place in rice and other grasses, including maize and wheat, which collectively produce our staple food."


Contact: Barry Whyte
Virginia Tech

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