WHEAt and barley Legacy for Breeding Improvement

Edito 2017

By Gilles Charmet, WHEALBI Coordinator, February 6th 2017

In 2016, The EXOME (coding part of the genome) of 512 barley and 512 wheat varieties of the WHEABI collections have been captured and sequenced. More than 25 and 35 millions of read pairs have been produced for barley and wheat, respectively. These raw data have been processed for quality control and alignment with the most recently available reference sequences. This enabled WHEALBI partner to identify 450 000 and 265 000 robust variants (SNPs) in barley and wheat exome, respectively.

In 2017, these data will be used by WHEALBI partners for further analyses, including evolution of the genomes from wild species to cultivars and genome-wide association studies. To do that, WHEALBI partners will evaluate agronomic traits such as canopy development, disease tolerance (powdery mildew, septoria blotch…), and use exome sequence data to identify the genetic bases of adaptation.

Ultimately, WP7 will identify a list of desirable traits to be associated in future varieties adapted to sustainable more farming systems such as no-till or organic.  Statistical methods developed in WP6 will help breeders to better exploit genetic resources to achieve these breeding goals. Finally, in 2017, the college project and several trainings will help disseminating knowledge’s to future farmers, technicians and breeders.

In 2017, WHEALBI should thus produce significant achievements, publish and publicize about the use of genome sequences for improving future varieties.