Rice gene count intrigues scientists who have sequenced the genome of the rice plant, according a report in Nature Science Update 5 April 2002.

Rice seems to have somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 genes. This may be more than humans, even though rice plants have one seventh as much DNA as humans. The reason for this is that plant genes tend to be much smaller than human or mammal genes. An average plant gene has 4,500 DNA letters compared with over 30,000 for human genes.

Even more intriguing is that only half the rice genes can be found in other plants that have had their genome sequenced. According to Gane Wong, of the Beijing Genomics Institute the other half of the genome has distinctive features that are “unrecognisable in any other organism”.

Editorial Comment: A genome that is consisting of a half and half mixture of genes similar to other plant and genes so different they are unrecognisable is excellent evidence consistent with the claim that the rice plant is part of a created plant family which reproduces its own kind.

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