Now in its 4th phase (2018-2023), the DEFRA-Funded Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN) aims to “improve the resilience, efficiency and stability of the wheat crop through genetics and targeted trait analysis”. Initiated in 2003, the core project started in 2008 began to provide genetic and molecular resources to other research programmes in a collaborative fashion. These included wheat genetic stocks, mapping populations, molecular markers & technologies, trait identification & evaluation, genomics and bioinformatics. Targeted traits for evaluation were NUE, grain quality, drought tolerance, Take-All resistance, Septoria leaf blotch resistance and aphid resistance.
How it Works
There are a number of research groups involved with WGIN, the main three being Rothamsted Research, the John Innes Centre and Nottingham University. All major wheat breeding companies attend management meetings.
Farmer / Agronomist Benefits
The collaborative and open-source approach will generate a better understanding of genes conferring beneficial agronomic traits in wheat crops, and novel gene maps developed can then be integrated into wheat breeding programmes ultimately benefitting growers.