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[genet-news] SCIENCE & PLANTS: Chinese green super rice receives financial support from Bill Gates Foundation



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  GREEN SUPER RICE RECEIVES FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM BILL GATES FOUNDATION

SOURCE: Chinese Academy of Science, China

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://english.cas.ac.cn/Eng2003/news/detailnewsb.asp?infoNo=27655

DATE:   27.03.2009

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GREEN SUPER RICE RECEIVES FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM BILL GATES FOUNDATION

China started an international collaboration project on green super rice in Sanya, Hainan Province on March 23, 2009. The project received 18 million U.S. dollars of fund from the Bill-Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project, titled ?Green super rice for the resource poor of Asia and Africa?, aims to develop new varieties of rice that can stand drought, flooding, cold weather, and toxic minerals such as salt and iron.

The overall goal is to breed at least 15 rice varieties and deliver these new, high-yielding varieties to small farmers in Asia (8 countries including China) and Africa (7 countries), along with training, said Dr. Li Zhikang, chief scientist of the project, and researcher from Chinese Academy of Agriculture (CCA).

Li said they will also seek to build a platform of analysis on different rice genotypes for molecular breeding currently conducted in African countries located to the south of Sahara, and Asia.

This project is the largest joint research program in China in terms of the amount of input and number of participating organizations. CCA will be mainly responsible for its implementation. Its partners include International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Africa Rice Center (WARDA), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center (SAGC) and etc.

The project is fully supported by Bill-Melinda Gates Foundation and it will be carried out in three years.

It is estimated that the rice production in these countries could be increased by 20%, and 20 million poverty-stricken farmers will benefit from the project, Li said.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  CRITICAL GENE FOR ENHANCING CHINA?S SUPER RICE YIELD IDENTIFIED

SOURCE: Chinese Academy of Science, China

AUTHOR: Xinhua, China

URL:    http://english.cas.ac.cn/eng2003/news/detailnewsb.asp?InfoNo=27650

DATE:   24.03.2009

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CRITICAL GENE FOR ENHANCING CHINA?S SUPER RICE YIELD IDENTIFIED

Chinese scientists announced on Monday that they have identified a gene that has played a key role in increasing the yield of China?s high-yielding super rice.

The gene is known as DEP1, but its mutant is called dep1, which can accelerate the division of rice cells and produce more grains per panicle. The mutant will become an important tool for rice breeding.

Researcher Fu Xiangdong, from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said his team has found the gene dep1 in high-yielding rice varieties grown in vast quantities in the Yangtze Plains and northeastern China.

Fu also said the gene can have a similar function in other crops such as wheat and barley, raising hopes of breeding high-yielding cereal varieties.

A research paper has been accepted by the journal Nature Genetics and already appears in its Advance Online Publication.

China?s Ministry of Agriculture launched the project of super rice strains in 1996, which has brought about many high-yielding rice varieties since then. The yields of some varieties now could exceed 12,000 kilograms per hectare.



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:  DUPONT AND CHINESE SCIENTISTS COLLABORATE ON CROP INSECT CONTROL

SOURCE: Chinese Academy of Science, China

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.chinacsr.com/en/2009/03/27/4883-dupont-and-chinese-scientists-collaborate-on-crop-insect-control/

DATE:   27.03.2009

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DUPONT AND CHINESE SCIENTISTS COLLABORATE ON CROP INSECT CONTROL

U.S.-based DuPont and the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have entered into a multi-year, exclusive research collaboration to improve in-plant insect control to help increase worldwide crop yields.

Under the agreement,the DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred will collaborate with the Institute of Plant Protection to identify novel genes to develop and commercialize in next-generation seed products. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

According to William S. Niebur, DuPont?s vice president for crop genetics research and development, global agriculture must produce sufficient quantities of food, feed, fiber and fuel for an expanding world population. He described the collaboration as an innovative partnership between established leaders in plant biotechnology that will create novel genetic-based solutions to drive increased productivity by farmers in China and around the world and so help meet increasing consumer demand.

The Institute of Plant Protection and Pioneer will apply their collective expertise in microbial screening, molecular biology and genomics to discover gene leads that protect crops from yield losses due to destructive insect pests. Pioneer researchers will use gene shuffling, molecular breeding and other proprietary trait enhancement tools to further develop these gene leads. An accelerated trait integration process will be utilized to incorporate traits into high yielding products rapidly to enhance product introduction timelines and increase global agricultural productivity.

?The continual discovery and development of new traits for insect and pest control is important not only for providing growers with enhanced options but also for solving the challenges of insect resistance. We are pleased to be collaborating with a global leader like Pioneer to bring our institute?s novel insect control options to the world market,? said Professor Kongming Wu, the director general of the Institute of Plant Protection of CAAS.


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