Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 6 News List

Largest online rice database launched

AFP, MANILA

The world’s biggest genetic rice database online is now available free, a move scientists hope will contribute to a “green revolution,” a leading rice research group said yesterday.

Information on the genetic sequence of 3,024 rice varieties can now be accessed through the Amazon Web Services system, a cloud computing platform, the International Rice Research Institute said.

The head of the institute’s Genetic Resources Center, Rory Hamilton, said the database would make it faster and easier to develop new rice varieties in the face of climate change and a growing world population.

These new varieties could be higher-yielding, more nutritious and more resistant to pests, disease, drought or floods.

“What used to be a 20 year task ... we can do in two or three years,” Hamilton said.

The genetic sequencing and initial analysis for the new database was funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Hamilton said that this was likely the biggest genetic database of any crop ever placed online.

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