Wheat Genomics for Sustainable Agriculture

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


This project aims to integrate UK activities in wheat genomics with related activities world-wide by contributing to genome sequencing and physical mapping of chromosomes. The project also aims to develop methods for high-throughput re-sequencing of genes to provide new foundations for breeding and functional genomics.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
1. Define a set of high quality, non-redundant sequences of essentially all genes in bread wheat;
2. Produce physical maps of one chromosome to assess assembly improvements;
3. Annotate and analyse predicted genes;
4. Establish methods for creating long-range sequence scaffolds for ordering genes;
5. Re-sequence genes of mutagenized populations;
6. Re-sequence genes of diverse genomes relevant to wheat pre-breeding research;
7. Create databases and bioinformatics tools for applying the sequence resources to crop improvement;
8. Maximize the impact of the research through training and outreach.
Research is carried out in close collaboration with key collaborators at Helmholz-Zentrum Munich (Klaus Mayer and colleagues), the European Bioinformatics Institute (Paul Kersey), the Institute of Experimental Botany in Olomouc (Jaroslav Dolezel), and scientists in the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC). The approaches being taken involve innovative new whole-genome sequencing and assembly strategies to generate complete assemblies of genes, their flanking sequences and low-complexity repeats. This is being supplemented by integration with available physical and genetic mapping data, and the project also aims to contribute physical maps of at least 1 chromosome. A key mid-term decision point will determine if more effort needs to be placed on assembling physical maps or longer-range sequence scaffolds obtained by jumping libraries. Project impact will be maximized through the immediate release of finished sequence data, the provision of useful databases, training and outreach.


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