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D. How the Sequenced Rice Genome is Affecting Research

Narrator: This is Science Today. You've no doubt heard about the Human Genome Project, in which researchers identified and sequenced an approximate 30 thousand genes of human DNA. But have you heard about the rice genome? Researchers have completed a high quality draft sequence of the entire rice genome. At the University of California, Davis, Pamela Ronald, an expert in rice genetics, says such knowledge has led to a frenzy of activity.

Ronald: You can use that information for improved breeding. You can use that information to try to identify different variants of a particular gene that might have improved properties by looking in seed banks, for example.

Narrator: Ronald says that was once a mammoth task.

Ronald: Now with the genome sequencer, a researcher can focus on a particular gene and if they have an idea of the property of that gene, they can go into the seed bank, go and pick out a seed for example, that may have been notated to have enhanced drought tolerance. And they can then compare the gene that they believe is involved in drought tolerance.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.