BBSRC hosts wheat breeding workshop

Biotechnology and Biological Research Sciences Council’s (BBSRC) "strategic longer and larger" (sLoLa) grant sponsored a workshop called "Towards a Sustainable Future for Wheat Genomics" for experts in genomics and bioinformatics Thursday.

The two-day workshop at the Genome Analysis Center (TGAC) was held with the goal of presenting resources and tools for wheat breeders.

The first day it was announced that a new Chinese Spring wheat genome assembly will be ready this month for public release. Genetic variation in the wheat plant family was focused on, with Ksenia Krasilveva (TGAC group leader), Cristobal Uauy (John Innes Center) and Andy Phillips (Rothamsted Research) giving a presentation on improved seed stock from Seedstor. Presentations on different products for wheat breeders were also highlighted.

The second day of the conference focused on in-depth genomic tools and workflows, highlighting Ensembl Plants, Compara and Biomart. Benardo Clavijo, leader of Algorithms Research and Development at TGAC, spoke of the upcoming wheat genome assembly, which is extremely important to wheat breeders because there is a synergistic improvement as marker maps, genetic maps and physical maps are combined.

“The workshop was very timely as it facilitated discussion of the new wheat genome sequence assemblies and how they can be used for crop improvement,"  Mike Bevan, Project Co-PI, JIC, said. "Linked to the new functional genomics resources generated in the sLoLa, the genome assemblies promise to transform wheat biology and breeding activities.”

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