Genetic blueprint of bread wheat genome unveiled

18 July 2014

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) published today in the international journal Science a draft sequence of the bread wheat genome. The chromosome-based draft provides new insight into the structure, organization, and evolution of the large, complex genome of the world’s most widely grown cereal crop.

Wheat harvest on the Palouse - ARS Image K1441-5

The IWGSC, with more than 1,000 members in 57 countries, is an international, collaborative consortium, established in 2005 by a group of wheat growers, plant scientists, and public and private breeders. The vision of the IWGSC is a high quality genome sequence of bread wheat that serves as a foundation for the accelerated development of improved varieties and that empowers all aspects of basic and applied wheat science.

Bread wheat is grown on over 95% of the wheat growing area and its sequence holds the key to genetic improvements that will allow growers to meet the increasing demands for high quality food and feed produced in an environmentally sensitive, sustainable, and profitable manner.

The IWGSC uses a milestone-based, adaptable strategy that ensures the immediate availability of significant outputs for wheat breeders and the wheat industry at large in parallel to continued advancements in basic research on the wheat genome.

The three key milestones of the IWGSC roadmap are:

(1) achieving survey sequences of the 21 bread wheat chromosomes;

(2) developing physical maps that can serve as a substrate for sequencing; and

(3) completing the reference sequence for each of these chromosomes.

The first milestone was reached on July 2014 with the publication of the chromosome-based draft sequence in the journal Science. Work towards the second and third milestones are well underway, as shown by this overview chart:

  1A 2A 3A 4A 5A 6A 7A 1B 2B 3B 4B 5B 6B 7B 1D 2D 3D 4D 5D 6D 7D
Phys. Map 1AS 100% 2AS 75% 3AS 100% 4AS 100% 5AS 100% 6AS 100% 7AS 100% 1BS 100% 2BS 50% 3BS 100% 4BS 50% 5BS 75% 6BS 100% 7BS 100% 1DS 75% 2DS 75% 3DS 100% 4DS 75% 5DS 100% 6DS 75% 7DS 100%
1AL 100% 2AL 75% 3AL 100% 4AL 100% 5AL 100% 6AL 100% 7AL 100% 1BL 100% 2BL 50% 3BL 100% 4BL 50% 5BL 50% 6BL 100% 7BL 100% 1DL 75% 2DL 75% 3DL 100% 4DL 75% 5DL 50% 6DL 75% 7DL 100%
Survey Seq. 1AS 100% 2AS 100% 3AS 100% 4AS 100% 5AS 100% 6AS 100% 7AS 100% 1BS 100% 2BS 100% 3BS 100% 4BS 100% 5BS 100% 6BS 100% 7BS 100% 1DS 100% 2DS 100% 3DS 100% 4DS 100% 5DS 100% 6DS 100% 7DS 100%
1AL 100% 2AL 100% 3AL 100% 4AL 100% 5AL 100% 6AL 100% 7AL 100% 1BL 100% 2BL 100% 3BL 100% 4BL 100% 5BL 100% 6BL 100% 7BL 100% 1DL 100% 2DL 100% 3DL 100% 4DL 100% 5DL 100% 6DL 100% 7DL 100%
Ref. Seq. 1AS 50% 2AS 0% 3AS 50% 4AS 25% 5AS 0% 6AS 0% 7AS 75% 1BS 0% 2BS 0% 3BS 100% 4BS 0% 5BS 0% 6BS 75% 7BS 75% 1DS 0% 2DS 0% 3DS 0% 4DS 0% 5DS 0% 6DS 0% 7DS 50%
1AL 25% 2AL 0% 3AL 50% 4AL 25% 5AL 0% 6AL 0% 7AL 75% 1BL 25% 2BL 0% 3BL 100% 4BL 0% 5BL 0% 6BL 75% 7BL 75% 1DL 0% 2DL 0% 3DL 50% 4DL 0% 5DL 0% 6DL 0% 7DL 25%
Projects progress overview

News

  • IWGSC submits comments to USDA On 21 July 2014, IWGSC submitted comments to the US Department of Agriculture regarding the USDA Roadmap for Plant Breeding

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