Wheat Diversity Project

Wheat Diversity Project

The project addresses the critical need to preserve, discover, and mobilize genetic resources by sequencing landrace genomes that encompass the worldwide diversity of bread wheat.

In this project, the IWGSC and collaborators in France will sequence 12 landrace genomes and update the IWGSC Chinese Spring reference sequence (IWGSC CS RefSeq).

The 12 landraces represent the full breadth of genetic diversity in wheat as described by Balfourier, et al.

The genome sequences will be generated by applying recent advances in long-read sequencing, optical maps, and chromosome conformation capture sequencing. All genomes will be annotated using established pipelines and accession-derived transcriptome data to inform gene models across the panel. Existing annotations in the IWGSC CS RefSeq, including thousands of community-contributed and manually curated gene models, will be preserved in the new RefSeq version. To make this resource applicable to advanced methods of genetic and breeding research, the project will develop a practical haplotype graph representation of these and additional public reference genome sequences developed by the community at large. The graph will be publicly available and accessible to the entire wheat community via the IWGSC Data Repository at INRAE-URGI and via the USDA data repository GrainGenes.

Project Team

  • Kellye Eversole (Principal Investigator), IWGSC
  • Joshua Stein (Project Manager), IWGSC
  • Carol Buell and John Hamilton, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, USA
  • Pierre Sourdille, Frédéric Choulet, Hélène Rimbert, Charles Poncet, Véronique Gautier, and Clément Debiton, INRAE-GDEC, France
  • Moussa Benhamed, University of Paris, Saclay, France
  • Michael Alaux, INRAE-URGI, France


  • National Science Foundation (NSF) grant #2322957
  • European Research Council ERC (project 3Dwheat #101044399)
  • INRAE Plant Biology and Breeding department
  • The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium

In this folder

Poster presented by the IWGSC at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference 31 (12-17 January 2024)
The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) is starting a two-year project, with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), to mine an untapped genetic resource for wheat improvement by sequencing the genomes of ancient varieties representing the worldwide diversity of bread wheat.
This poster summarizing the IWGSC Wheat Diversity project was presented at the National Science Foundation (NSF) PI meeting in September 2023.

Modification date: 10 January 2024 | Publication date: 11 December 2020 | By: ic