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Last update: May 2021

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IWGSC Newsletter – February to September 2021

Publication date: 21 September 2021

IWGSC Newsletter 1/2021
IWGSC newsletter No1/2021


  • Board of Directors
    The IWGSC is pleased to announce that Chris Burt (RAGT Seeds), Pierre Devaux (Florimond Desprez), John Jacobs (BASF), Yann Manès (Syngenta) and Pierre Sourdille (INRAE) have joined the Board of Directors. The Board establishes the overall vision and mission of the Consortium and ensures the implementation of the strategic decisions made by the Coordinating Committee. Read the announcement.
  • Membership
    The IWGSC has 3,300 members in 71 countries, working at 913 institutions/companies.
  • Sponsors
    • Currently, the IWGSC has 8 sponsors.
    • In April, we were pleased to welcome a new sponsor: Illumina, a multi-national life-sciences and diagnostics company. Kahlil Lawless, Agrigenomics Segment Manager, will represent Illumina in the IWGSC Coordinating Committee.
    • Read the sponsor highlight on BASF, with an interview of John Jacobs, the BASF representative in the IWGSC Coordinating Committee
    • Sponsor support is essential to ensure continuation of activities. Please inform us if you know of any potential sponsors (research institutes, universities, governmental agencies, or companies).


  • IWGSC RefSeq Assembly and Annotation
    • Revised versions of the wheat genome reference sequence assembly (IWGSC RefSeq v2.1) and annotation (IWGSC RefSeq annotation v2.1) are now available at the IWGSC data repository hosted by URGI-INRAE without restriction.
    • IWGSC RefSeq v2.1 has been completed under the leadership of Mingcheng Luo and Jan Dvorak (UC Davis, CA, USA) and with funding from the US National Science Foundation and the USDA Agricultural Research Service CRIS. IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 was revised using whole genome optical maps and contigs assembled from whole-genome-shotgun (WGS) PacBio SMRT reads. The revisions involved approximately 10% sequence length of the IWGSC RefSeq v1.0
    • IWGSC RefSeq annotation v2.1 has been completed under the leadership of Frédéric Choulet and Hélène Rimbert (INRAE) and with funding from the French Government managed by the Research National Agency (ANR) under the Investment for the Future program (BreedWheat). The new annotation contains 266,753 genes comprising 106,913 HC genes and 159,840 LC genes.
    • Detailed information on how IWGSC RefSeq v2.1 and IWGSC RefSeq annotation v2.1 were developed are available on this page.
    • An article outlining these new resources and the improvements to the wheat reference sequence has been published in The Plant Journal and is available on open access. Reference: Zhu, T., Wang, L., Rimbert, H., Rodriguez, J.C., Deal, K.R., De Oliveira, R., Choulet, F., Keeble‐Gagnère, G., Tibbits, J., Rogers, J., Eversole, K., Appels, R., Gu, Y.Q., Mascher, M., Dvorak, J. and Luo, M.‐C. (2021), Optical maps refine the bread wheat Triticum aestivum cv Chinese Spring genome assembly. The Plant Journal.
  • IWGSC RefSeq Annotation beyond 2021
    Continued manual and functional annotation of the reference is essential. To facilitate high quality functional annotation, we continue to seek experts willing to take the lead in the functional annotation of gene families in wheat, contact Kellye Eversole , Fred Choulet, Rudi Appels , or Hélène Rimbert if you would like to be involved.
  • IWGSC-Arbor Biosciences Promoter Capture project
    The IWGSC-Arbor Biosciences promoter capture, developed under the leadership of IWGSC Coordinating Committee members Jorge Dubcovsky and Jacob Enk, is currently being finalized.
  • Other IWGSC Genomic Tools
    We remain interested in learning what other genomic resources would be useful for the wheat community. Arbor Biosciences has put on hold the development of other expansion models at the moment and we are continuing to discuss opportunities with other service providers.
    If you have any suggestions of tools or resources that would be useful, please contact Kellye Eversole .
  • IWGSC Wheat Diversity project
    IWGSC leadership is still trying to secure funding for the wheat diversity project. Under this project, the IWGSC plans to develop platinum quality sequences of a core set of eight landraces and to add to these data elite and founder lines sequenced to varying levels of quality, as well as publicly available sequences. Some IWGSC members already have expressed interest in sequencing one or more of the landraces. If you have sequenced or are planning to sequence an elite line or founder line and want to be involved in the development of the haplotype database, please contact Kellye Eversole .




We are currently working on the spring 2022 schedule, if you have suggestions for topics or speakers, please let us know .

Upcoming webinars

  • 23 September at 11am EDT: "Presentation Skills for Brainiacs - How to present to people who have no idea what you’re talking about" with Laura Foley, Presentation Strategist.
    Register here
  • 24 September at 11am EDT, Alison Bentley (Director of CIMMYT Global Wheat Program) will present "Wheat to eat: accelerating plant breeding to address global food & nutrition security"
    Register here
  • Attention!! NEW DATE - 28 October at 10am EDT, Yijing Zhang (Fudan University, China) will talk about "Interaction between wheat cis- and trans-factors in shaping regulatory networks"
    Register here
  • 18 November at 11am EST, Ellie Taagen (Cornell University, USA) will present "Challenges and opportunities in positional cloning and structural variation in polyploid crops"
    Register here
  • 15 December at 11am EST, Javier Palma-Guerrero (Rothamsted Research, UK) will talk about "Developing sustainable strategies to protect wheat roots from take-all disease" - This event is organized in collaboration with the Phytobiomes Alliance.
    Register here

Past webinars

In case you missed our past webinars, you can watch all recordings on the IWGSC YouTube channel . Slides of the presentations & Q&A sessions are also available on the website.

Since the last edition of the newsletter, we organized the following webinars:

Upcoming Workshops

The IWGSC will hold two workshops and a business meeting at PAG 2022 , scheduled for 8-12 January 2022. Stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks.

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