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Authors of the article

Rudi Appels

"The genome sequence of each of the 21 wheat chromosomes lets us look inside the wheat engine. What we see is beautifully put-together to allow for variation and adaptation to different environments through selection as well as sufficient stability to maintain basic structures for survival under various climatic conditions."

▬ Rudi Appels
Professor, University of Melbourne and Murdoch University
Research Fellow, AgriBio, Victoria, Australia

Kellye Eversole

“The publication of the wheat reference genome is the culmination of the work of many individuals who came together under the banner of the IWGSC to do what was considered impossible. The method of producing the reference sequence and the principles and policies of the consortium provide a model for sequencing large, complex plant genomes and reaffirms the importance of international collaborations for advancing food security.”

▬ Kellye Eversole
IWGSC Executive Director

Nils Stein

"The sequence resources reported here will and have already changed our way of generating knowledge on wheat crop biology and crop performance. I am sure this will stimulate many more young scientists all over the world to take advantage of this new information and make their contributions towards sustained and maybe even increased global wheat yields in a changing world. This current achievement has also set the start now to an even bigger endeavor: to gather a complete catalog of natural genetic diversity available to modern wheat breeding "

▬ Nils Stein
Professor, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben, Germany

“The wheat reference sequence will be a game changer for wheat research; for gene discovery projects, like finding genes under QTL, development of molecular markers, but also for genetic diversity studies and the pan- genome.”
▬ Ute Baumann
Group Leader, Plant Genomics Centre, University of Adelaide, Australia

“With the availability of the wheat reference sequence, it is now a great time to play wheat gene(s) and genome(s) to increase wheat yield to meet increasing demand”
▬ Hikmet Budak
Professor, Montana State University, USA

“I am really thrilled, because after 13 years of efforts with the whole wheat community we have reached our major milestone. The vision we had is now becoming concrete, we have a high quality reference sequence that can be used to accelerate wheat research and breeding. I'd wish I’d be at the beginning of my career again because the fun is really starting now and we can efficiently decipher the biology of our favorite crop. Having this sequence and combining it with other advances in science and technologies is fundamental to enable us understanding how wheat plants perform in their environments and boost our ability to improve wheat production worldwide.”
▬ Catherine Feuillet
Chief Scientist Officer, Inari Agriculture, USA

“It is a dream come true for Kansas wheat farmers, who were the first to invest in the wheat genome sequencing project and pivotal in rallying U.S. wheat farmers in support of the wheat genome sequencing project."
▬ Bikram Gill
Distinguished Professor, Kansas State University, USA

“For me, as a functional genomics and genetics researcher, having a continuous and fully annotated sequence for each of the 21 wheat chromosomes is of paramount importance. This will greatly speed up our efforts on identification of agriculturally important wheat genes, including those that would help to combat major fungal diseases. This will also be hugely and immediately beneficial for wheat breeders, accelerating development of new elite varieties.”
▬ Kostya Kanyuka
Project Leader, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK

"The IWGSC RefSeq revolutionizes gene cloning in wheat, which has been extremely difficult in the past. Now, the large repertoire of disease resistance genes in the bread wheat gene pool becomes available for molecular characterization."
▬ Beat Keller
Professor, University of Zürich, Switzerland

“Sequencing the wheat genome has long been considered as impossible. But as Oscar Wilde said : “Shoot the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”. With the IWGSC RefSeq, not only have we reached the moon, but we have paved the way to a new galaxy of exciting basic and applied research projects.”
▬ Etienne Paux
Senior Researcher, National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), France

“Essentially we have completed the wheat genome jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces put together in their correct positions and order, providing an enormous advantage for breeders when searching for genes that control important traits in the crop. This breakthrough research will help produce better wheat varieties over the long term.”
▬ Curtis Pozniak
Wheat breeder and scientist, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

“This new genome assembly provides a chromosome-by-chromosome representation rather than the fractured picture available previously and will elevate wheat research and breeding to a level equal to, or even better than, other major crops."
▬ Andrew Sharpe
Director of Genomics and Bioinformatics, Global Institute of Food Security, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

“Genomic knowledge of other crops has driven progress in selecting and breeding important traits. Tackling the colossal wheat genome has been a Herculean challenge, but completing this work means we can identify genes controlling traits of interest more rapidly. This will facilitate and make more effective the breeding for traits like drought or disease resistance. Where previously we had a broad view and could spot areas of interest, we can now zoom into the detail on the map.”
▬ Cristobal Uauy
Project Leader, John Innes Centre, UK

From users of the sequence


“How do you thank a team of scientists who persevered and succeeded in sequencing the wheat genome and changed wheat breeding forever? Perhaps it is not with the words of a scientist, but with the smiles of well-nourished children and their families whose lives have been changed for the better.”
▬ Stephen Baenziger
Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wheat Growers Presidential Chair, USA

“The USDA regional genotyping labs are using the IWGSC reference sequence to facilitate marker-assisted breeding. The IWSGC assembly has accelerated trait mapping and development of highly diagnostic assays suited to high-throughput genotyping. We are now able to quickly cross- reference trait associated markers from independent studies, rapidly associate QTL regions with candidate genes, and use reference based pipelines for SNP discovery and genotyping. “
▬ Gina Brown-Guedira
Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS, Raleigh, NC, USA

“We have been using the IWGSC Data in our (phospho)proteomics data analyses, and this increases our identification with ~25%. We are very thankful for this genome data set.”
▬ Ive De Smet
Group leader, VIB & Ghent University, Belgium

“Thank you once again for pre-publication access to the RefSeq v1.0. This gave us the opportunity to support our mapping results with information about the physical positions of markers linked to detected QTL.”
▬ Manuel Geyer
Institute for Crop Science and Plant Breeding, Freising, Germany

"It’s such a great work; it brings a great deal of convenience to all the researchers around the world working on wheat. I appreciate all the contributions you have made to the world wheat research."
▬ Rui Hu
Ph.D candidate, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

“Kansas wheat farmers have been supporting the wheat genome sequencing efforts through the Kansas Wheat Commission’s wheat assessment since the establishment of the IWGSC in 2005, with a cumulative amount of nearly a quarter of a million dollars. The sequence of the bread wheat genome has already had a positive effect on wheat improvement, which not only affects the science behind wheat breeding, but has a long-lasting positive outcome in regard to wheat producer productivity, profitability and, ultimately, livelihoods.”
▬ Justin Gilpin
Chief Executive Officer, Kansas Wheat, USA

The wheat IWGSC resources help us develop genomic breeding tools on a daily basis. Through these resources our accuracy and speed is at a much higher level now. [...] To further investigate this Rht24 genomic region, we aligned the sequences of the markers from this region with the wheat reference genome (IWGSC RefSeq v1.0). This revealed that almost all of the significantly associated markers are located in an approximately 50-Mbp region between 400 and 450 Mbp."
▬ Willmar Leiser
Head of Biotechnology Group, University of Hohenheim, Germany

“Having access to a high quality chromosome-level assembly for wheat was a hugely valuable resource for my PhD project, which involves cloning stripe rust resistance genes. I was able to retrieve physical positions for markers that were genetically linked to our targets, define new markers spanning the region and confirm their linkage with newly identified candidate genes. This information is now being used by breeders to develop varieties with improved disease resistance.“
▬ Clémence Marchal
PhD student, John Innes Centre, UK

"Having access to IWGSC RefSeq helped us a lot to improve the annotation of hundreds of PPR genes"
▬ Joanna Melonek
Research Fellow, University of Western Australia, Australia

"The key enablers for this PhD were the availability of the wheat genome sequence and the creation of novel I mutants in wheat by CSIRO.”
▬ In: Van De Velde, Karel, Philip Ruelens, Koen Geuten, Antje Rohde, and Dominique Van Der Straeten. “Exploiting DELLA signaling in cereals.” Trends in Plant Science 22, no. 10 (October, 2017): 880-893