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International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium


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Having high-quality genome assemblies for crop species has the potential for improving breeding leading to varieties with larger yield, and better resistance to environmental stresses and infectious diseases. Despite wheat being the most cultivated crop on Earth, contributing a fifth of total calories consumed by humans, the vast size of the genome (some 5 times larger than the human genome) and its highly repetitive nature (being a hybrid of three highly similar subgenomes, each one having a high content of repetitive sequence) has precluded previous sequencing and assembly efforts. 

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) has now published a high-quality assembly of the genome, with sequences assembled into 21 chromosome-like molecules. The two main articles have been published in Science, consisting of the description of the genome sequence, and an extensive exploration of the transcriptome

BMC is happy to publish several companion articles, including those in Genome Biology.

  1. Numerous scaffold-level sequences for wheat are now being released and, in this context, we report on a strategy for improving the overall assembly to a level comparable to that of the human genome.

    Authors: Gabriel Keeble-Gagnère, Philippe Rigault, Josquin Tibbits, Raj Pasam, Matthew Hayden, Kerrie Forrest, Zeev Frenkel, Abraham Korol, B. Emma Huang, Colin Cavanagh, Jen Taylor, Michael Abrouk, Andrew Sharpe, David Konkin, Pierre Sourdille, Benoît Darrier…
    Citation: Genome Biology 2018 19:112
  2. The Wheat@URGI portal has been developed to provide the international community of researchers and breeders with access to the bread wheat reference genome sequence produced by the International Wheat Genome S...

    Authors: Michael Alaux, Jane Rogers, Thomas Letellier, Raphaël Flores, Françoise Alfama, Cyril Pommier, Nacer Mohellibi, Sophie Durand, Erik Kimmel, Célia Michotey, Claire Guerche, Mikaël Loaec, Mathilde Lainé, Delphine Steinbach, Frédéric Choulet, Hélène Rimbert…
    Citation: Genome Biology 2018 19:111
  3. Recent improvements in DNA sequencing and genome scaffolding have paved the way to generate high-quality de novo assemblies of pseudomolecules representing complete chromosomes of wheat and its wild relatives....

    Authors: Anupriya Kaur Thind, Thomas Wicker, Thomas Müller, Patrick M. Ackermann, Burkhard Steuernagel, Brande B. H. Wulff, Manuel Spannagl, Sven O. Twardziok, Marius Felder, Thomas Lux, Klaus F. X. Mayer, Beat Keller and Simon G. Krattinger
    Citation: Genome Biology 2018 19:104
  4. Transposable elements (TEs) are major components of large plant genomes and main drivers of genome evolution. The most recent assembly of hexaploid bread wheat recovered the highly repetitive TE space in an al...

    Authors: Thomas Wicker, Heidrun Gundlach, Manuel Spannagl, Cristobal Uauy, Philippa Borrill, Ricardo H. Ramírez-González, Romain De Oliveira, Klaus F. X. Mayer, Etienne Paux and Frédéric Choulet
    Citation: Genome Biology 2018 19:103