Wheat genome sequencing
Our group is currently contributing to the international efforts of sequencing the bread wheat genome (an IWGSC effort), the wild emmer wheat and the durum wheat genomes. The wild emmer and the bread wheat genome sequences were recently published in Science.
Together with the group of Dr. Klaus F.X. Mayer, Helmholtz Center Munich, we are contributing in a BMEL funded project WHEATSEQ to the 10 wheat genomes project - an associated program of the Wheat Initiatve. We developed a reference quality assembly of a german winter wheat cultivar 'Julius'. In addition the project will provide the physical anchoring information for multiple wheat genome assemblies as well as de novo annotation of the multiple genome assemblies. Altogether the 10 genomes project will give first high resolution insight into the extent of structural variation and the complexity of the pan-genome of wheat.
Wheat genome diversity
Rich genetic resources for wheat are hosted at IPK`s ex situ genebank. Our group is involved in three efforts towards characterization and more efficient utilization of wheat genomic diversity. First this is the GENDIV project coordinated by the program ProWeizen. Here, 280 non-adapted wheat accessions from the resources center, pre-selected for a combination of 4 morphological or life-history traits on the basis of historic primary evaluation data generated during collection management are evaluated together with 90 accessions of modern breding material and cultivars. Second, we collaborate in the EU FP7 WHEALBI project on the exome-capture-based targeted re-sequencing of 500 wheat cultivars and landraces for the characterization of wheat genome diversity and GWAS. Third, we are partner of the recently BMBF-funded project Genebank2.0 aiming at genotyping of the entire IPK wheat collection (~25,000 accessions) and partial phenotypic evaluation.
Restoration of male fertility
In frame of project RESTORER coordinated by the initiative ProWeizen we are collaborating on the analysis of male fertility restoration in bread wheat. Our aim is to characterize the PPR gene family of bread wheat as a major class of candidate genes for male fertility restoration.