CIMMYT joins International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium as sponsoring partner

The move will help IWGSC strategise priorities, plans and activities

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) has announced that the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has joined the organisation 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 to facilitate the production of wheat varieties better adapted to today’s challenges – climate change, food security and biodiversity preservation. 


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT, is a non-profit international agricultural research and training organisation focusing on two of the world’s most important cereal grains: maize and wheat, and related cropping systems and livelihoods.


“I am truly pleased that CIMMYT has re-joined the IWGSC. The current reference sequences have been essential, enabling us to design new trait-based markers for use in CIMMYT wheat breeding pipelines. There remains much to explore in characterising wheat at the whole genome level,” said CIMMYT wheat molecular breeding laboratory lead, Susanne Dreisigacker.


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. Susanne Dreisigacker will represent CIMMYT in the IWGSC Coordinating Committee.


The organisation recently released version 2.1 of the reference sequence assembly and annotation and is continuing to work with the wheat community to improve the reference sequence by gap filling and integration of manual and functional annotation. The IWGSC also is focused on securing funding for a project that will ensure that “platinum-quality” sequences, representing the worldwide wheat diversity of landraces and elite varieties, are available publicly for breeders.



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