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Illumina Joins the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium

Illumina Joins the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium

Eau Claire, Wis., US – 7 April 2021

Illumina , a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies is joining the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) as a sponsoring partner.

The IWGSC is an international, collaborative consortium of wheat growers, plant scientists, and public and private breeders dedicated to the development of genomic resources for wheat scientists and breeders. These resources aim at facilitating the production of wheat varieties better adapted to environmental challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality, and improved sustainability.

Illumina, a San Diego based multi-national life-sciences and diagnostics company, is dedicated to advancing Agrigenomics through product development and collaboration with the Agricultural Science community. Their DNA microarray and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are helping researchers and breeders develop healthier and more productive crops and livestock.

“Through this sponsorship, we are delighted to be able to extend our support to the wheat research and breeding communities,” said Kahlil Lawless, Agrigenomics and Microbiology Segment Manager for Americas at Illumina. “Illumina genetic analysis tools have been crucial in establishing the resources and knowledge base required to accelerate productivity gains, and our involvement with the consortium will help us better serve their future needs.”

Sponsors are an essential part of the IWGSC. They participate in IWGSC-led projects and, as members of the Coordinating Committee, they help shape the IWGSC priorities, strategic plans, and activities. Kahlil Lawless, Agrigenomics Segment Manager, will represent Illumina in the IWGSC Coordinating Committee.

“Illumina is a leader in plant genome sequencing projects, and we are very pleased to count them among our sponsors,” said Kellye Eversole, Executive Director of the IWGSC. “They have led the way in enabling complex plant genomes to be sequenced efficiently and cost effectively. Indeed, Illumina sequencing technology is the foundation of the IWGSC RefSeq project and allowed the consortium to deliver a gold standard genome sequence for bread wheat in 2018.”

Since the publication of the first version of the bread wheat genome reference sequence in the journal Science in 2018, the IWGSC has entered phase II and now focuses its efforts on improving the reference sequence by gap filling and integration of manual and functional annotation, characterizing worldwide wheat diversity by sequencing landraces and elite varieties, and developing tools to benefit public breeders and industry partners.

“We look forward to collaborating with Illumina in the development of new tools for wheat breeders and in utilizing their expertise as we design strategies and activities to increase our understanding of the molecular basis of economically important traits” added Eversole.

About the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium

The IWGSC, with 3,200 members in 71 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. The IWGSC is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more, visit www.wheatgenome.org and follow us on Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn and YouTube

About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and connect with us on Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn , Instagram , and YouTube

Media Contacts

  • Isabelle Caugant
    communications@wheatgenome.org
    +1 916 840 8801
    @wheatgenome
  • Melinda Hutcheon
    mhutcheon@illumina.com
    +1 949 266 7029