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IWGSC submits comments to USDA

Excerpts:

"We applaud the USDA for establishing a plant breeding roadmap that aligns with the USDA Strategic Goals and Objectives 2014‐18 as well as the needs of public and private breeders who utilize molecular as well as conventional methods."

"While significant progress has been made in establishing high quality genomic resources that relate directly to the large (17Gb), hexaploid, highly repetitive bread wheat genome, we do not agree that “genomics research has come of age” for wheat. [...] Highlighted in the special issue of Science published last week (18 July 2014) with a focus on wheat genomics, is the first draft survey sequence for all 21 bread wheat chromosomes and the first high quality reference for a chromosome (3B). With the exception of the 3B reference sequence, however, the data are partial and do not provide crucial information about the structure and organization of the genome sufficient to enable the utilization of genomic tools for accurate predictions of phenotypic outcomes."

"Since the launch of the internationally coordinated initiative to sequence the wheat genome occurred in the US, we hope that the US, and in particular the USDA, will play a significant role in the effort to complete the wheat genome sequence. To this end, we strongly encourage the USDA to build on previous US contributions by:
1) Funding BAC‐based sequencing of one or more bread wheat chromosomes;
2) Funding a centralized radiation hybrid mapping project for all 21 wheat chromosomes that will facilitate construction of pseudomolecules from sequence contigs by providing relative mapping information; and
3) Establishing a database for the distribution of IWGSC resources in the US that mirrors the IWGSC repository currently hosted by the URGI at INRA, France."

Read the full letter: