Welcome to the 4th Phase of WGIN (2018-2023)

Defra Wheat Genetic Improvement Network:

WGIN 4 - Improving the resilience, efficiency and stability of the wheat crop through genetics and targeted trait analysis


WGIN 4 has been funded by Defra until July 2023.

The strategy for WGIN4 including continuing as well as new projects is shown below:

A summary of WGIN3 achievements and the WGIN4 core project can be found here.


WGIN videos:

For the first time, as part of WGIN4 we are now in the process of creating videos about various aspects of WGIN and making these available to website visitors.

As a start, you can view a 6min video about wheat crossing and the rationale for trying to introgress T.monococcum into bread wheat here.


1) The 17th WGIN Stakeholders' Meeting was held on Thursday November 14th 2019 at Rothamsted. Presentations can be found under the 'Stakeholders' drop-down menu in 'Meetings'.

This year the topic for the Panel Discussion was "Farming without Insecticides - New Opportunities". Professor Lin Field, Head of Biointeractions and Crop-Protection at Rothamsted set the scene with an introductory presentation. Afterwards the panel, consisting of Ruth Bryant (RAGT), Paul Drinkwater (DeRamsey Farm, Huntingdon), Toby Bruce (Keele University), Steve Ellis (ADAS entomologist) and Lin Field (Rothamsted Resesarch) answered several questions on this topic posed by Kim Hammond-Kosack (WGIN leader, Rothamsted Research) as well as members from the audience. As a lot of interesting questions were raised, you can (hopefully) listen to the whole discussion by pressing the start icon below or download it here.

2) The 5th WGIN 4 Management Meeting was held at JIC on October 8th 2019. The presentations can be viewed here

3) The April 2019 edition of the WGIN Stakeholders' Newsletter can be viewed here.

4) The WGIN Legacy document, covering the achievements and outcomes of the first TEN years (WGIN 1 2003-2008, WGIN 2 2009-2014) is now available to peruse by clicking this link: WGIN 1&2 Legacy

5) An article by Heather Briggs about WGIN has been published in the June 2018 Edition of Arable Farming. The article can be found here.



Upcoming Events:

1) First Announcement - "AI for Wheat" workshop

9th to 10th March 2020 @ Alan Turing Institute, London

This workshop will explore the potential for innovative applications of data science and artificial intelligence to address problems relevant to the UK wheat community. Please contact Chris Rawlings for further information and queries. To express interest you can pre-register here.



***Paragon Library***

WGIN has been part of an informal consortium developing NILs in the genetic background of the UK spring wheat Paragon. The collection, known as the Paragon Library, was developed at JIC and currently consists of around 350 lines.  The project involves crossing different combinations of genes, QTLs and mutations into the common background of Paragon and then studying the phenotypic effects.  NILs are currently available for multiple alleles of: Rht-D1, Rht-B1, Rht8, Lr19, 1BL.1RS, Yield (7B), Grain Size (5A, 7A) and more than 10 Heading Date QTL. Further lines will be added in the future.

The Paragon Library lines have been genotyped on the Axiom 35K Breeders' Array and data for about 300 lines is now available to download here and the figure to the right indicates the format of the data. Seed collected from the genotyped plants are now available for distribution on request and we hope they will eventually become available through the Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU) at JIC.





***High Density Genotyping of

18 WGIN AxC Near Isogenic Lines***

The WGIN AxC DH population has been exploited by many research groups around the world. NILs for WGIN QTLs have allowed us to show the value of the genes underlying these QTL for breeding and agriculture. Now Simon Griffiths’ group @ JIC has embarked upon the generation of a population where segments of the entire wheat genomes of Avalon or Cadenza are represented in individual lines of the opposite background. These will provide a unique resource for targeted screening of discrete chromosomal regions of interest through crosses to specific lines.
The initial stage of this process has been to genotype eighteen of these NILs, representing most of the identified QTLs, on the 820K Axiom Array at the University of Bristol Genomics Facility. All six detailed maps as well as information about them can be accessed here.


WGIN Background

The UK government is committed to more sustainable agriculture but this vision is facing an ever expanding range of environmental, energy and climate change challenges. Wheat is grown on a larger area and is more valuable than any other arable crop in the UK. Established in 2003, the Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN) Diagram of WGIN in the Wider Contextarose directly from a realisation in the early 2000s that over the preceding two decades there had been a widening disconnection between commercial plant breeding activities and publicly funded plant and crop research. The overall aim of WGIN is to generate pre-breeding material carrying novel traits for the UK breeding companies and to deliver accessible technologies, thereby ensuring the means are available to produce new,improved varieties. An integrated scientific 'core' which combines underpinning work on molecular markers, genetic and genomic research, together with novel trait identification, are being pursued to achieve this goal. The predicted wider impacts of the project can be viewed in the impact networks which were developed for each of the scientific objectives.


OLD Site - The old site is still available here.

Disclaimer: The site and all images provided on the WGIN website are © 2009 Rothamsted Research unless otherwise indicated. No image may be copied, reproduced, used or distributed without the permission of the copyright owner.

In all work which uses the DH Avalon x Cadenza population the following text must be cited: The population of doubled-haploid (DH) individuals, derived from F1 progeny of a cross between cvs Avalon and Cadenza, was developed by Clare Ellerbrook, Liz Sayers and the late Tony Worland (John Innes Centre), as part of a Defra funded project led by ADAS. The parents were originally chosen (to contrast for canopy architecture traits) by Steve Parker (CSL), Tony Worland and Darren Lovell (Rothamsted Research).

This Page Was Last Edited: 10-Jan-2020