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From the authors

Catherine Feuillet
Catherine Feuillet – IWGSC co-chair

“As a co-chair of the IWGSC, I am really delighted to witness the success of the international team effort that led to the survey sequence and the achievement of one of our key milestone. We launched this effort, at the end of 2010 and assembled the most competent laboratories in wheat genomics to tackle the task of producing the survey sequence. Such a collective effort around a focused objective defined by the IWGSC coordinating committee is a typical illustration of the IWGSC philosophy and it is rewarding to see how successful this is.”

Jane Rogers
Jane Rogers – IWGSC co-director

"The draft sequence represents a significant milestone in the sequencing of the wheat genome, providing an important set of tools to differentiate between genes residing on the three sub-genomes and large numbers of new markers that can be used to pursue genes underlying important traits. Publication of the draft genome sequence alongside the reference sequence of chromosome 3B, however, provides a timely reminder that structural complexity not revealed by the draft plays a key role in genome regulation and that wheat scientists and breeders will require a reference sequence of the whole genome to fully access and apply wheat genomics to wheat crop improvement."

Jaroslav Doležel – Institute of Experimental Botany, Centre of Plant Structural and Functional Genomics, Czech Republic

"Publication of the wheat genome blueprint and the impact this advance makes are a terrific reward for many years of hard and systematic work of our team. It is great to see that the chromosome-based strategy we have developed overcomes intricacies of the complex wheat genome to deliver the knowledge and molecular tools for wheat improvement. This is the best motivation for us to continue together with other members of the Consortium."

Klaus Mayer – German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany

"The new insights into the biology of the wheat genome now enable to identify genes and markers for breeding more rapidly. These are fundamental requirements for facing the challenges imposed by increased food demands, plant diseases and a changing climate.”

Curtis Pozniak
Curtis Pozniak – Crop Development Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

"The release of the chromosomal draft of the wheat genome sequence will accelerate gene discovery in wheat, and pave the way for development of high-throughput tools to improve breeding of complex traits such as yield, insect and disease resistance, and end-use quality.”

Kellye Eversole – IWGSC executive director
Kellye Eversole

"As the executive director, it is really exciting to see the hard work of so many IWGSC members rewarded first with achieving a major milestone and second with a publication in the prestigious journal, Science. We began the consortium in 2005 with a handful of scientists and support from a few growers and industry partners. As we grew to become the international organization we are today, we developed our roadmap with guidance from industry and wheat scientists and, thus, with a view towards delivering a sequence that will be useful for end users. Along the way, many thought it would be impossible to reach any of our objectives and encouraged us to lower our standards. We chose instead to maintain a constant focus on application, the pursuit of high quality tools and resources for breeders and wheat scientists, and on building a foundation for sequencing that would permit the integration of advancements in sequencing technologies. The milestones described in Science, specifically the completion of the IWGSC Chromosome Shotgun Sequences and the first high quality reference sequence of a wheat chromosome (chromosome 3B), are a testament to the resounding success of our process and strategy as well as a reminder that it is still possible to achieve great things as a group."

From others

Helene Lucas
Hélène Lucas – International Scientific Coordinator of the Wheat Initiative.

"The achievement by the IWGSC of the survey sequence of the wheat genome and of the reference sequence of the 3B chromosome is a very important milestone for the completion of the reference sequence of the whole genome, which the Wheat Initiative has identified as a top priority for wheat research and improvement."

Andrew Sharpe, Research Officer at the National Research Council Canada
Andrew Sharpe

“The achievement of the chromosome-based draft is a technical tour de force and highlights the improvements in sequencing and bioinformatics over the last few years. The work has provided a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of the wheat genome. However, the full story will only be established with the development of a reference genome sequence.”

Forrest Chumley
Forrest Chumley, President Emeritus of Heartland Plant Innovations Inc

"This is a proud and happy moment for all of us who worked to create the IWGSC so many years ago. We need to remember that more work is needed to give crop geneticists all the tools they need to meet the world's urgent needs for improved wheat. This success proves what visionary researchers, farmers and administrators can accomplish when they come together, and how much we need to keep pushing."

Justin Gilpin, Chief Executive Officer, Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

“Kansas farmers are excited about this most recent announcement and very thankful for the tireless efforts of those leading the charge of the IWGSC.”