As a step toward boosting rice production to meet a projected 25% increase in demand by 2030, researchers from three Asian institutions today announced the release of the genetic sequences of 3000 rice lines.”The 3000 genomes will help us explore new genes needed to create new adaptive varieties; this is becoming increasingly important to sustain rice productivity and to ensure food security under the impact of climate change,” says Hei Leung, a plant geneticist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, the Philippines, and one of the scientists involved in the project.The backers hope that this genetic information will lead to identifying genes for draught, disease, and pest resistance as well as tolerance for poor soils. The first rice genomes were sequenced in the mid-2000s, but this advancement in understanding rice genetics had limited impact in improving rice strains.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)”A single genome does not reveal the large store of genetic diversity in rice,” says Leung, who notes that many important genes are not present in the previously sequenced rice lines. “Many useful genes are carried in traditional [rice] landraces; without sequence information it is difficult to use such treasure,” he says.The sequencing of 3000 rice lines acquired from 89 countries has confirmed that there are five broad varietal groups. More importantly, the effort identified approximately 18.9 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, or minor genetic differences, that might represent important traits. Leung says the next step is to connect the genetic sequence information to specific phenotypical traits. The sequencing effort was a collaboration among IRRI; BGI in Shenzhen, China; and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology funded the project.The report on the sequences and a commentary by officials from the three institutions appear online today in GigaScience. The entire data set is available at the journal’s affiliated database, GigaDB. Seeds of all of the rice lines are held by the International Rice Genebank Collection housed at IRRI.
The Plaza Offers iPads With Virtual Concierge FunctionNew York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineThe Plaza, New York City’s classic luxury destination, announced it will offer iPads in all guest rooms and suites featuring the first virtual concierge application available on the tablet devices. The landmark hotel on Central Pak South is partnering with Orlando-based Intelity to become the first hotel in the world to provide guests services and amenities using iPads and Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Solution) software solution.The iPads will feature a multimedia video welcome and provide guests easy, touch screen access to control their entire hotel experience. Services guests will have at their fingertips include ordering room service, making restaurant reservations, communicating with the concierge, requesting wake-up calls, exploring NYC destination guides, and even checking airline schedules and printing boarding passes. The devices will also be pre-loaded with leisure and business friendly applications such as newspapers, and guests will also be able to browse the Web. The Plaza first started offering iPads for guests to use while dining in The Palm Court. Hotel managers quickly realized the popularity of the devices with guests, and decided to extend the program beyond the restaurant, into the guest room.“For over 100 years, The Plaza has set the standard for luxury and since opening our doors, guests at our hotel experienced many firsts in travel. Today, luxury is being redefined to not only include actual products but how something enhances an experience or fulfills a need,” said Shane Krige, general manager of The Plaza. “Guests can now enjoy in-demand, innovative technology and access to our five-star offerings at their convenience – a true luxury for many.” According to David Adelson, president and chief executive officer of Intelity, “The premier of ICE on in-room iPad tablets will fittingly be New York’s famed hotel, The Plaza.” Adelson said, “Guests will have service options at their fingertips and hotel management will have an increased ability to add to and evaluate the delivery of those services.”In addition, The Plaza will also offer ICE Mobile, allowing guests to download the hotel’s Virtual Concierge Application on iTunes or www.theplaza.com, with versions for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Ideal for guests on the run or future guests who want to get a head start on trip plans, the application will offer the full array of services offered in-rooms on guests’ mobile phones, whether it be setting up a wake-up call, pre-ordering room service, making a spa appointment or simply requesting an extra towel.The iPads featuring ICE technology will be available in The Plaza’s guest rooms and suites in September 2010. The mobile application will also launch at that time.www.theplaza.com