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Open Access Commentary

The 3,000 rice genomes project: new opportunities and challenges for future rice research

Jia-Yang Li1, Jun Wang2 and Robert S Zeigler3*

Author Affiliations

1 Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 12 S. Zhong-Guan-Cun St, Beijing 100081, China

2 BGI, Bei Shan Industrial Zone, Yantian District, Shenzhen 518083, China

3 International Rice Research Institute, DAPO 7777, Metro Manila 1301, Philippines

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GigaScience 2014, 3:8  doi:10.1186/2047-217X-3-8

Published: 28 May 2014

Abstract

Rice is the world’s most important staple grown by millions of small-holder farmers. Sustaining rice production relies on the intelligent use of rice diversity. The 3,000 Rice Genomes Project is a giga-dataset of publically available genome sequences (averaging 14× depth of coverage) derived from 3,000 accessions of rice with global representation of genetic and functional diversity. The seed of these accessions is available from the International Rice Genebank Collection. Together, they are an unprecedented resource for advancing rice science and breeding technology. Our immediate challenge now is to comprehensively and systematically mine this dataset to link genotypic variation to functional variation with the ultimate goal of creating new and sustainable rice varieties that can support a future world population that will approach 9.6 billion by 2050.

Keywords:
Oryza sativa; Genetic resources; Genome diversity; Phenomics; Sequencing