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International Sequencing Consortium Sets Out to Tackle 16 Billion Base Pairs of Wheat Genome

NEW YORK, June 15 (GenomeWeb News) - An international group of scientists from academia, industry, and government agencies has formed the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium to analyze and sequence the genome of wheat, the organization said last week.


The group aims to develop a physical map as well as sequence the common wheat genome, which is hexaploid and has 16 billion base pairs. Initially, the WGSC will focus on sequencing a region of wheat that is rich in agriculturally important traits, such as resistance to fusarium head blight, glume blotch, and rust, and tackle portions of the physical map.


The consortium, which is co-chaired by three scientists from the US, Australia, and France, is open to individuals and organizations supporting its goals. The Kansas Wheat Commission and KansasStateUniversity, which spearheaded its formation, will cover the start-up costs of the executive director and web services.


Fifty scientists from eight countries participated in the WGSC's first meeting, held earlier this month in Bozeman, Mont.