The outcomes of a joint Vietnam-UK research project on sequencing the genomes of a number of Vietnamese indigenous rice varieties were made public at a workshop in Hanoi on August 28.

The project, running between January 2011 and June 2013, is within the international cooperation framework between Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

As a result, scientists from the two countries have decoded the genomes of 36 rice varieties.

This is the first time Vietnam has fully decoded genomes of rice, which will help scientists in their research on the conservation of gene resource and the selection of high-yield and high-quality varieties, capable of resisting unfavourable conditions both bio and non-bio, Tran Viet Thanh, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology said at the workshop.

Thanks to the project, Vietnamese scientists have accessed advanced gene decoding methods and equipment, thus gradually becoming able to do the work themselves towards the building of a rice genetic database of the country.

An additional 600 varieties of rice are expected to be decoded in the second phase of the project.-VNA