Reference Sequence of Bread Wheat

Reference Sequence of Bread Wheat

In August 2018, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) published the first fully annotated reference genome of bread wheat in the journal Science. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.


International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) (2018). Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome. Science, 361(6403), eaar7191.


  1. The article presents the reference sequence of bread wheat. It is a detailed description of the DNA of the 21 wheat chromosomes.
  2. The work is the result of 13 years of collaborative interdisciplinary research coordinated by the International Wheat genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC)
  3. Having a reference sequence is essential for breeding more resilient wheat varieties to feed a growing world population and address food security in the context of climate change.


An annotated reference sequence representing the hexaploid bread wheat genome in 21 pseudomolecules has been analyzed to identify the distribution and genomic context of coding and noncoding elements across the A, B, and D subgenomes. With an estimated coverage of 94% of the genome and containing 107,891 high-confidence gene models, this assembly enabled the discovery of tissue- and developmental stage–related coexpression networks by providing a transcriptome atlas representing major stages of wheat development. Dynamics of complex gene families involved in environmental adaptation and end-use quality were revealed at subgenome resolution and contextualized to known agronomic single-gene or quantitative trait loci. This community resource establishes the foundation for accelerating wheat research and application through improved understanding of wheat biology and genomics-assisted breeding.

Modification date: 16 August 2023 | Publication date: 27 July 2021 | By: ic