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IWGSC Newsletter – September 2016 to 15 January 2017

Welcome to the IWGSC newsletter No3/2016

Happy New Year to all!

And to start the year with a great news: we are happy to announce that the first version of the reference sequence of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring (IWGSC RefSeq v1.0) is now available at the IWGSC sequence repository hosted by URGI-INRA .


  • Membership: As of the end of 2016, the IWGSC has 1500 members, working in 469 institutes/companies in 60 countries. Check out the map .
  • Sponsors: Currently, the IWGSC has 17 sponsors . Sponsor support is essential to ensuring the delivery of the reference sequence. Please inform us if you know of any potential sponsors (research institutes, universities, governmental agencies, or companies)
  • A New Phase: With the release of IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 and with automated annotation underway, the IWGSC has moved into Phase II. In November 2016, the IWGSC leadership convened a meeting in Paris to refine the strategy for the future based on the priorities identified in the survey of membership. All participants indicated their commitment to and interest in the IWGSC continuing its leadership and coordination within the following areas:
    • Maintain, update, and periodically release official versions of the reference sequence
    • Community-based manual curation and functional annotation
    • Database for the wheat genome sequence and linkage with other wheat resources
    • De novo sequencing and assembly of multiple wheat genomes for diversity and pangenome activities
    • Wheat epigenetics.

If you are interested in playing a leadership role in any of these areas, please contact Kellye Eversol

  • New Coordinating Committee Members:
    • Kostya Kanyuka (Rothamsted Research, UK), project leader for the wall associated kinases (WAK) gene family
    • Robert King (Rothamsted Research, UK) project leader for the amino acid transporters (AAT) gene family
    • Burkhard Steuernagel (John Innes Centre, UK) project leader for the NB-LRR gene family


  • Since June 2016 and the release of the IWGSC WGA v0.4, the genome assembly has been further refined to produce an IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 assembly through integration of IWGSC chromosome-based sequences and resources. This new assembly is now available for download and BLAST at the IWGSC wheat data repository at URGI under terms of the Toronto Agreement. Pre-publication access is provided in accordance with the Toronto Agreement under which the IWGSC reserves the right to publish the first global analyses of the data. For specific access terms, see the IWGSC General Data Access agreement .
  • Chromosome-based resources that have been integrated with the IWGSC WGA v0.4 to produce IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 include physical maps, BAC minimal tile path tag sequences generated through projects sponsored by Bayer CropScience, the IWGSC chromosome survey sequence and BAC-based chromosome sequences, and BioNano optical maps, where available. Information about these resources can be found on the projects section of the website.


  • Leader Spotlight: John Jacobs , Expert Scientist in the Genomics group of the Trait Research organization of Bayer CropScience.
  • Leadership Award:
    • Abraham Korol was recognized for his dedication and support of the IWGSC over the last 10 years.
    • Michael Alaux was recognized for his leadership and dedication in making IWGSC resources available to the wheat community
    • The entire URGI bioinformatics team received a Leadership Award in recognition and appreciation of their efforts in making IWGSC resources available to the wheat community.


  • Main Workshop , Saturday 14 January, 8:00-10:10am, room Town and Country, organized by Rudi Appels and Kellye Eversole - Speaker profiles
  • Business meeting, Saturday 14 January, 6:20-8:00pm in room Pacific Salon 4-5
  • Standards and Protocols Workshop , Tuesday 17 January, 1:30-6:10pm, room Pacific Salon 3, organized by Jane Rogers and Frédéric Choulet


IWGSC Publications

Community news

Resources for members

  • Set of slides for members to use in their presentations: general presentation of the IWGSC (membership, structure, vision, roadmap), major achievements, progress, sponsors. Updated January 2017

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