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ผช.ดร.อภิชาติ วรรณวิจิตร

Rice is not only the grain for life but also a model organism for large scale gene discovery. Thailand has one of the most diversified rice germplasm in the World. Extensive identification and collection of genes from the wild germplasm is the most effective means to protect our diversity and prosperity. The complete sequence of the genome will provide a more direct route to uncover genes en masse. An International Collaboration for Sequencing the Rice Genome (ICSRG) was established to completely sequence the genome within 8 to 10 years. Among cereals, rice has the most compact genome. The genome size of 400 Mb is predicted to have more than 30,000 genes expressed differentially in space and time. We proposed joining the ICSRG by sequencing 1 Mb annually of chromosome 9 for the next five years. The chromosome was selected based on our previous extensive works on the fine genetic and physical maps surrounding the submergence tolerance QTL, the prospect of gene richness and the small chromosome size. Such participation will allow our scientists to directly access the rest of the genome size. Such participation will allow our scientists to directly access the rest of the genome sequence made available by the other collaborating members. We also propose efficient ways to utilize the genome sequence data for gene discovery from wild rice germplasm. The complete sequence data will be physically linked to Khao Dawk Mali 105, the Thai Jasmin rice. The complete physical map based on BAC technology, extensive isolation of high polymorphic molecular markers and comprehensive genetic maps created between the aromatic rice with valuable landraces and wild rices are proposed. Large and extensive collection of wild rice and landrace germplasm and evaluation schemes for responses to biotic and abiotic stresses are also an important long-term objective of this project. The gene-rich wild species and landraces will be selected for the construction of genetic and physical maps, monosonic alien addition lines and BAC libraries. Positional candidate gene cloning approaches including the disease resistance gene analog (RGAP) are proposed as the most efficient way of directly utilizing the sequence information for gene identification. This project will bring Thailand to international scientific arena, incorporate state of the art technology, and enhance the sustainability of rice production. The ultimate outcome will improve the competitive edge of Thailand in the international rice market.

Dr. Apichart Vanavichit 1,2
1 Agricultural Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, Kasetsart University, Kampangsaen, Nakorn Pathom, Thailand, 73140
2 Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Kampangsaen, Nakorn Pathom, Thailand, 73140

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Revised : June, 2002
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