A private company whose credo, according to its co-Presidents, DavidFischhoff & Mark Trusheim, is "work hard, have fun, kick butt", seems tohave decided to take a softer approach. It will be giving away valuableagricultural genetic data to the public research community, through aunique public-private agreement between the The Arabidopsis InformationResource (TAIR), funded by the US National Science Foundation, and thecompany - the American plant research partnership, Cereon Genomics.

The number of markers in the Arabidopsis genome has been more than doubledby the agreement, in which Cereon gives access to 37 000 polymorphisms -highly useful for gene mapping. "Realistically a quarter of these couldprove to be good markers - say 10 000. And currently we have only 4 000markers" said Mike Bevan of the John Innes Institute, Norwich, England, whois closely involved in the public Arabidposis genome sequencing project."This is a major step" in research into Arabidopsis, said Bevan.


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