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About IWGSC

The IWGSC, with 2,400 members in 68 countries, is an international, collaborative consortium, established in 2005 by a group of wheat growers, plant scientists, and public and private breeders.

The goal of the IWGSC is to make a high quality genome sequence of bread wheat publicly available, in order to lay a foundation for basic research that will enable breeders to develop improved varieties.

It all started in 2005 when a group of growers, breeders, and scientists launched the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium to advance wheat improvement and ensure profitability throughout the wheat value chain. At that time, genomic resources for sequencing the wheat genome and the pace of variety improvement were lagging significantly behind other major crops such as maize and rice.

To change this paradigm, the IWGSC is dedicated to producing a reference sequence of the bread wheat genome for accelerating molecular breeding, better understanding of the molecular basis of key agronomic traits, and knowledge of the structure and function of the wheat genome.

As of 15 July 2018, the IWGSC has 2,400 members in 68 countries.

To learn more about the history of the IWGSC, have a look at the timeline .

Resources available for all

Since its inception, the ultimate goal of the IWGSC has been to produce publicly-available resources that are relevant for improving wheat species used for food and feed consumption.

The aim is to generate a resource that provides an accurate representation of the structure and organization of the sequence along individual chromosomes, enabling rapid localization of genes, regulatory elements, repetitive elements, molecular markers, and the linkage of these features with phenotypes.

A milestone-based strategy

roadmap

A Coordinating Committee comprised of members representing universities, public research and grower organizations, as well as small and large wheat breeding and seed companies define the IWGSC strategy and roadmap.

To ensure the rapid delivery of tools to wheat breeders and scientists, the IWGSC establishes strategic plans with short- and mid-term goals, defines areas of coordination, facilitates and coordinates research projects and funding efforts at the national and international levels, develops and supports the design of research proposals, provides a framework for the establishment of common guidelines, protocols, and resources, and organizes scientific meetings and workshops.

Using its milestone-based, adaptable strategy, the IWGSC regularly provides new tools and resources to breeders while working towards the ultimate goal of obtaining a high quality reference genome sequence for bread wheat.

This overall strategy 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.

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team is in charge of the daily management of the IWGSC and includes Rudi Appels (Murdoch University), Ute Baumann (University of Adelaide), Hikmet Budak (Montana State University), Kellye Eversole (Eversole Associates), Etienne Paux (INRA), and Sebastien Praud (Biogemma). K. Eversole serves as the executive director.

General membership in the consortium is open to anyone and general business meetings are open to the public.

The IWGSC organizes at least two scientific conferences and workshops each year that usually are held in conjunction with other relevant meetings such as the annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference.