Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal


Curtis Pozniak

Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Curtis Pozniak
Curtis Pozniak is a professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), a wheat breeder, and a geneticist with the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre. His work has attracted over $40 million in funding from various sources and, in addition to supervising graduate students, he has authored or co-authored over 50 scientific manuscripts.

Curtis is one of the project leaders of Canadian Triticum Advancement through Genomics (CTAG), a four-year (2011-2015), $8.5-million project managed by Genome Prairie that supports sequencing of the wheat genome. CTAG is Canada’s contribution to the IWGSC. As part of the IWGSC, Pozniak and his team have completed the survey sequence of chromosome 6D. This result, along with the survey sequence of 20 other bread wheat chromosomes, was published in Science in July 2014. Curtis and his team are currently completing the reference sequence of chromosome 1A.

Curtis has been involved with IWGSC as a coordinating committee member since 2010.

Despite a very busy schedule, Curtis took the time to answer our questions and share his views on the value of having a high quality reference sequence and genomics technologies for wheat breeders.

What are the benefits of being part of an international consortium?

Our breeding program felt it was important to be part of an international effort so that we could ensure domestic competitiveness through transfer of knowledge from international science activities. Contributing to the IWGSC has allowed our own research program early access to genomic resources, mapping populations, and informatics expertise that would have otherwise taken years to develop. Also, working as part of a larger consortium has allowed us to participate in a number of international partnerships and collaborations to ensure our own work is cutting-edge and employing the very latest in technologies and technical capabilities.

What could IWGSC do to further help you in your work?

Our own genetic research would greatly benefit from the completion of a reference sequence of all 21 wheat chromosomes. This is an international priority that requires international support.

As a breeder, how important is a high quality reference sequence?


One of the big challenges of genetic research is to link genotype to phenotype, and it is this association that is important to applications in plant breeding. However, there is still a considerable gap in our understanding of the genes that underlie desirable phenotypes. Having access to a complete genome sequence that is ordered and anchored to genetic maps will allow us to quickly link phenotypes to the sequence. With a high quality reference sequence, it will become increasingly common to identify desirable genes (alleles) responsible for traits. Although the task of associated genes will become increasingly easier with a reference sequence, it will still be critical for breeders to generate the precise phenotyping information that is required to support identification of gene associations.

So far, you have worked with different degrees of sequence quality, how has that impacted your work and what were the most significant challenges for breeders?

Access to the wheat survey sequence has been very useful to aid DNA marker discovery in wheat, and we have developed several DNA markers for important traits that we target in our breeding program. However, our current goal is to identify the casual genes underpinning phenotypic variation in our breeding programs. A completed reference sequence would greatly speed this process, as has been the case in other crops where a complete genome sequence is available.

How will having a reference sequence will impact the farmers in Canada?

Our current efforts to support the completion of a reference sequence has resulted in the identification of numerous DNA markers that we are already deploying in our breeding programs at the University of Saskatchewan. In fact, one of our newest durum wheat cultivars, CDC Fortitude, was developed in part using DNA markers that were identified from early access to the reference sequence of chromosome 3B.

According to you, what is the value of genomic technologies for wheat breeding?

Genomic technologies have played a major in my own breeding program. Since 2005, I have developed 11 wheat cultivars (mostly durum wheat). All of these cultivars were developed in part using genomic assisted breeding. Indeed as sequencing technologies advance, we will gain a better understanding of the allelic variation present in our germplasm collections so that we can design appropriate breeding strategies to maximize genetic gain.

About Curtis 

Curtis comes from a family of farmers and musicians. He became interested in plant breeding after taking an introductory plant breeding course at the University of Saskatchewan. During his first summer intern position, in a canola breeding program, he realized that he wanted to be a plant breeder. His interest in wheat breeding was solidified during his Ph.D., at the University of Saskatchewan, where he gained a true appreciation for the genetic complexity of wheat. Always enjoying a challenge, he decided to pursue a career in wheat following the path of his Ph.D. mentor, Dr. Pierre Hucl, whose passion for wheat breeding was highly communicative.

Publication date: 03/09/2015