Plant Molecular Biology 35: 1, 1997. 1 Rice is the staple diet of more than half the worlds the beneﬁt of society as a whole. For example instead of population. In the next 50 years as much rice and being a wheat, rice or maize geneticist, in fact one is a wheat grain is required as has been produced since cereal geneticist. The tools developed for rice genetic the beginning of agriculture. Biotechnology may help analysis and gene cloning can be used in the study classical breeding in achieving this aim. Within the last of other cereals. These are becoming a central part 5 years, there has been major initiatives established by of other cereal programmes. A reﬂection of this is different funding organisations worldwide to provide the fact that although most countries in the European these biotechnological tools for rice breeding. Many of Union are not major producers of rice, the EU is highly these tools have now been produced. It therefore seems likely to fund a programme (EGRAM) at the end of an appropiate time to review the progress made. We 1997 exploiting the use of rice for the study of other have tried where possible to invite leading laboratories cereals. Rice is fast becoming the ‘Arabidopsis’ of reﬂecting a cross-section of the funding organisations cereal community. As with Arabidopsis, if there is a to review the past and current status of rice breeding, monocot genome to be sequenced in the next few years, molecular and genetical advances made and potential then the rice genome seems likely to be top of the list. developments. The Edition also indicates likely targets To society as a whole in the next 50 years which is more for the exploitation of this biotechnology and novel important to sequence the rice or human genome? ways of creating new germplasm (alien transfer and This edition indicates what (RFLPs, microsatel- transformation). lites, YACs, BACs, ESTs, contiged libraries, genetic The substantial progress made in the development maps, mutator systems and trait locations) and how of these tools, has meant that rice is an important mod- to ﬁnd, (bioinformatics) the tools available, were to el for the cereal community as a whole. Moreover obtain them from (stock centres and germplasm collec- the observation that there is conservation in genome tions) and how to apply them; with particular examples structure between rice and other cereal genomes, has given (ﬂowering, disease and stress). bought with it closer links between those groups work- ing on the different cereals. Collaboration has become Guest Editors much more internationally based which can only be to TAKUJI SASAKI and GRAHAM MOORE GR: 201001944, Pips nr. 138658 BIO2KAP *138658* pl3893si.tex; 27/06/1997; 7:09; v.7; p.1
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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