The 10+ Wheat Genomes Project is a global partnership that leverages collaborative expertise and funding with the aim to characterize the wheat ‘pan genome’. In addition to assembled genomes it will also generate annotated gene models based on electronic prediction and experiment transcriptome data. This research partnership will also build the most comprehensive functional analysis of the ‘pan genome’, by comparing gene expression (transcription) networks throughout plant development. The partnership will generate at many high quality wheat genome assemblies and develop strategies and resources to compare multiple wheat genome sequences from around the globe.

Created in 2011 following endorsement from the G20 Agriculture Ministries, the Wheat Initiative provides a framework to establish strategic research and organization priorities for wheat research at the international level in both developed and developing countries. The Wheat Initiative fosters communication between the research community, funders, and global policy makers, and aims at securing efficient and long-term investments to meet wheat research and development goals. The Wheat Initiative Strategic Research Agenda recognizes the wheat genome assembly as a high priority “game-changer” that will be a cross-cutting resource to support wheat biology, genetics, and breeding. Indeed, DNA sequencing technologies and data analysis tools have advanced rapidly over the past decade and it is now possible to generate high quality genome data for large complex genomes, such as wheat. 

In July of 2016, the Wheat Initiative sponsored a workshop focusing on “Wheat Genomic Resources in a Post-Reference Sequence Era”.  As a result of the workshop, a number of priority areas were identified. One area that was deemed to require immediate attention was the completion of the “Wheat Ten Genome Project” and development of ‘pan genome’ resources.

As an Associated Programme of the Wheat Initiative, the 10+ Wheat Genomes Project is committed to disseminate progress quickly and share the developed pan genome resources to the broader wheat community. Although the partnership is an independent research activity, the 10+ Wheat Genomes Project is committed to the Wheat Initiative’s mission to develop global genetic resources to support a vibrant wheat research and breeding community.