The Trojan track and field teams will be heading to Seattle, Washington, this weekend to compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships. The women’s team will seek to hold onto their title for the third year in a row, while the men’s team will attempt to dethrone Oregon, who narrowly beat them last year.The MPSF ITFC is a competition created in 1992 and designed for Division I West Coast schools. This year, 14 men’s teams and 19 women’s teams will be in attendance. Though the Trojan men’s team is looking solid, as they are currently ranked ninth in the nation by the USTFCCA NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings, they will have to be wary of strong competition from Oregon’s squad, which is ranked second on that list, and Washington’s, which is ranked twelfth. Meanwhile, the No. 10 Women of Troy will have to battle Oregon’s first-ranked roster and Washington’s seventeenth-ranked team.Though the women of Troy aren’t number one in the nation, junor sprinter Destinee Brown is still convinced that she and her teammates have targets on their backs. Brown said she is willing to do whatever it takes to earn the victory.“I feel like we’re definitely the team to beat,” Brown said. “[Personal records] are great, but I would rather win than PR. But if I have to PR to win, then that’s what we’re trying to do.”Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert echoes the sentiment. Though most teams facing SC this weekend are not ranked, she acknowledges that competition will still be tough.“At the end of the day, the ranking doesn’t matter,” Gilbert said. “It’s about what you do on the day. There are a lot great teams and a lot of great competitors in the conference that want to make sure to give us a run for our money.”The men’s squad will make their second-ever appearance at the indoor event, and their good performances so far this season suggest that it will be a strong one. Most notably, two weeks ago, in the Tyson Invitational men’s triple jump event, junior Eric Sloan set a personal record (55ft, 10.50in) to win the competition and claim the farthest jump by a college athlete this season. Sophomore Randall Cunningham placed fourth in the high jump (7ft, 3.25in) at the Tyson long jump event.The women’s lineup is also looking very competitive. USC currently holds the MPSF ITFC women’s 1600m relay record (3:33.58), which was set last year. It may be beaten, as the quartet of sophomore Kendall Ellis, junior Amalie Iuel, senior Jaide Stepter and Brown set a school record (3:28.82) at the 2016 Tyson invitational in the women’s 1600m relay. Also at the 2016 Tyson invitational, Iuel set personal records in the women’s 400m (52.52) and in the women’s 60m HH (8.504). The same day, Katerina Berdousi placed second overall with a PR of 4:57:43 in the women’s 1600m, and Rebekah Ent posted a PR of 2:12:91 in the women’s 800m to place seventh overall.Following the MPSF ITFC, the Trojan track and field athletes can look forward to closing out the indoor season with the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, in early March.
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.