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Novartis Found Symp. 2001;236:46-53; discussion 53-8.

Rice--the pivotal genome in cereal comparative genetics.

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John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.


Over the past 15 years rice has been the focus of intense co-ordinated research activity to apply the new molecular biology to this key staple. The fact that rice has a small tractable genome and the development of genetic and genomic tools not available in any other cereal have now ensured the promotion of rice as a favoured research target. However the discovery that gene content and gene order--genome colinearity--have been maintained among all the Poaceae family for some 60 million years of evolution has elevated rice yet further to the status of a 'model' organism. Rice tools can be applied in research on the other major cereals, wheat and maize, and many aspects of rice genetics can be transferred to the many minor economic grass species that have not themselves warranted extensive research and breeding. In this paper we describe some of the applications of the discovery of extensive synteny among the grasses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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