Expert Working Groups

Expert Working Groups (EWGs) are established where there would be benefit from bringing together experts with a focus on a topic of relevance to the Wheat Initiative’s aims and objectives. The Wheat Initiative provides EWGs with a platform for discussion, information sharing and interaction to identify and address specific research and organisational challenges.

Proposals for the establishment of EWGs are welcomed all year round. Invitations to participate in EWGs are issued through calls for experts open to Wheat Initiative member and non-member organisations alike. The selection of applicants is made by the EWG proposers with final decision on the composition of the EWG made by the Wheat Initiative Scientific Board, to which the EWG reports.

EWGs have clear objectives that could include (but are not be limited to) specific activities such as contributing to the development and implementation of the Wheat Initiative Strategic Research Agenda, delivering position papers, stimulating and facilitating knowledge sharing within a scientific community or addressing a particular challenge through a research programme. The minimum output is an annual report for dissemination to the Wheat Initiative Committees and the wheat research community through the Wheat Initiative website.

Guidelines for setting up and managing Expert Working Groups (PDF 500KB) are available for download, along with templates for use by EWGs during the different phases of their development.

Annex 1 – Topic Proposal template (124KB)

Annex 2 – Membership Application Form template (110KB)

Annex 3 – Agenda template (135KB)

Annex 4 – 1st Meeting Minutes template (124 KB)             

Annex 5 – Minutes template (112KB)

Annex 6 – Annual Report template (131KB)

Annex 7 – Annual Accounts (35KB)

Information on each of the EWGs established under the Wheat Initiative thus far can be found on this page.

Purpose

This Expert Working Group focuses on the development of a Wheat Information System

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open. Any experts wishing to participate to the WheatIS Expert Working Group should complete the application form and send it via email to wheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

An expert committee, led by Hadi Quesneville (INRA, France) and Mario Caccamo (TGAC, UK), initially produced a survey analysis (PDF 425KB) of wheat research community needs.  They submitted a proposal to set up a Wheat Initiative Expert Working Group and develop a Wheat Information System (WheatIS).

The topic was considered as a top priority by the Institutions’ Coordination Committee (ICC) in November 2012 and the proposal was endorsed by the Research Committee (RC) in January 2012. At the request of the RC, different scenarios were provided to clarify timeframes and required means to achieve the goals described in the EWG proposal. ICC members agreed on May 15th 2013 the terms of the overall project and encouraged the EWG proposers to implement it without any further delay. The project started with TGAC (UK) and URGI (France) as leading WheatIS nodes progressively includes other nodes. The Research Data Alliance (https://rd-alliance.org/) will contribute to the development of the WheatIS.

A revised version of the Wheat IS proposal as well as an action plan were produced by the EWG following its second meeting.

Composition of the EWG

OrganisationCountry
Chair
Hadi QuesnevilleNational Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) France
Vice-Chairs
Mario Caccamo The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) UK
David Edwards University of Queensland Australia
Gerard LazoUSDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) USA
Members
Michael Alaux National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) France
Ruth Bastow Global Plant Council and GARNet UK
Ute Baumann Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Australia
Fran ClarkeAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)Canada
Jorge DubcovskyUniversity of California, Davis and Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUSA
Takeshi ItohNational Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS)Japan
Paul KerseyEMBL European Bioinformatics InstituteUK
David Marshall James Hutton Institute UK
Cesar MartinezCIMMYT Mexico
Klaus MayerMunich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS), Helmholtz Center MunichGermany
Amidou N’DiayeUniversity of Saskatchewan Canada
Christopher RawlingsRothamsted Research UK
Doreen WareUSDA ARS and Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryUSA

Meetings

The first WheatIS EWG workshop was held on December 2-3, 2013.

See a Photo of the group meeting in Versailles.

A second meeting was organised in San Diego in January 13, 2014.

Purpose

Set up in 2005, the IWGSC aims at delivering a high quality reference sequence of the bread wheat genome.

Proposal

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) submitted a proposal in 2012 to be recognized as a Wheat Initiative Expert Working Group. The Research Committee (RC) endorsed the IWGSC as a Wheat Initiative Expert Working Group in January 2013, and the Institutions’ Coordination Committee (ICC) considered as a top priority to have access to a high quality reference sequence anchored to the genetic and phenotypic maps before 2016.  

Following recommendations of the ICC and the RC, the IWGSC developed scenarios for accelerating the delivery of a high quality sequence at a reasonable price.  The ICC members endorsed the proposal in May 2013 and agreed that pooling of resources facilitated by the Wheat Initiative would allow wheat genome sequencing to occur in a more rapid and efficient fashion. A more detailed description of the strategy was provided by the IWGSC to the ICC in November 2013.

The ICC members committed themselves to look for the best ways to raise funds in their countries. It was decided to create an IWGSC-ICC taskforce to explore funding avenues, including the approach of private companies and foundations by high-level ICC members.

Purpose

The Expert Working Group on Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding aims to bring together and synergize the activities of those stakeholders interested in promoting (i) specific research actions focused on improving durum wheat productivity and quality and (ii) collaborations with the scientific community active in genomics of bread wheat.

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open. Any experts wishing to participate in the Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding Expert Working Group should complete the application form and send it via email towheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

The proposal to establish an Expert Working Group on Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding was submitted by Luigi Cattivelli (Agricultural Research Council (CRA), Italy) and Roberto Tuberosa (University of Bologna, Italy) and revised according to the suggestions of the Wheat Initiative Research Committee. The Research Committee globally approved the revised proposal in July 2013 and endorsed the creation of an EWG on Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding for an initial period of 4 years. The proposal will be discussed at the 2nd Research Committee Meeting in Yokohama on September 14, 2013.

Meetings

Informal meetings with smaller groups of members have taken place during late 2013 and early 2014. The first meeting of the EWG was held on March 24, 2014 in Ciudad Obregón alongside the Borlaug100 meetings. the minutes of the meeting can be found here (PDF 230KB).

Purpose

The Expert Working Group on Wheat Breeding Methods and Strategies aims to build capacity and to support improved breeding methods research, and international exchange of information and germplasm.  Anticipated deliverables include more efficient wheat breeding programs that use advanced breeding methods and a larger pool of wheat breeders trained in state-of-the-art breeding methods. Underpinning wheat breeding methods research will be increased exchange of wheat germplasm and information and training workshops.   

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open indefinitely. Any experts wishing to participate in the Wheat Breeding Methods and Strategies Expert Working Group should complete the form and send it via email towheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

The proposal to establish an Expert Working Group on Wheat Breeding and Strategies was submitted by Mark Sorrels (Cornell University, USA) and Gilles Charmet (INRA, France) in 2012 and revised according to the suggestions of the Wheat Initiative Research Committee. The Research Committee globally approved the revised proposal in July 2013 and endorsed the creation of the EWG for an initial period of 4 years. The proposal will be discussed at the 2nd Research Committee Meeting in Yokohama on September 14, 2013.

Composition of the EWG

Organisation

Country

Proposers

Mark Sorrels

Cornell University

USA

Gilles Charmet

National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)

France

Members

Stephen Baenziger

University of Nebraska

USA

David Bonnett

CIMMYT

Mexico

Jaap Buntjer

KeyGene N.V.

Netherlands

Ron DePauw

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Canada

Erhard Ebmeyer

KWS Lochow GMBH

Germany

Velu Govindan

CIMMYT

Mexico

John Hickey

The Roslin Institute

UK

Huw Jones

Rothamsted Research

UK

Ron Knox

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) SPARC

Canada

Viktor Korzun

KWS Lochow GMBH / KWS Cereals Division

Germany/UK/France/USA

Friedrich Longin

University of Hohenheim

Germany

Ian Mackay

National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)

UK

Calvin Qualset

University of California, Davis

USA

Guenter Welz

Bayer CropScience AG

Germany

Alison Bentley

National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)

UK

Pilar Hernandez

Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (CSIC)

Spain

Meetings

The first formal meeting of the EWG is scheduled to be held on Sunday, June 29 in conjunction with the joint EUCARPIA Cereal Section & ITMI Conference running June 29 - July 4, 2014 in Wernigerode, Germany.

Purpose

The Expert Working Group on Wheat Phenotyping aims to reduce the gap between genomics and phenotyping for wheat improvement by supporting and strengthening research initiatives, as well as by developing new technologies focused on wheat phenotyping on an international scale. It will promote collaborations and exchange of expertise in wheat phenotyping, enhance the integration of phenotyping into breeding and genomics programs, engage experts from non-plant disciplines in wheat phenotyping and support training and capacity building.

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open. Any experts wishing to participate in the Wheat Phenotyping Expert Working Group should complete the application form and send via email to wheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

The proposal to establish an Expert Working Group was submitted by 8 proposers from 7 countries and endorsed by the Wheat Initiative Research Committee at their 2nd meeting on September 14, 2013, with recommendation to extend its initial duration to a 4-year period.

Purpose

The Expert Working Group on Wheat Plant and Crop Modeling aims to facilitate linkages between crop modellers, physiologists and breeders to improve global wheat production. It will organise workshops to bring together these experts to discuss and advance wheat models to support model-assisted wheat improvement. The EWG will identify gaps in experimental data and crop physiological knowledge and explore pathways to improve global wheat production through linking crop modelling and crop physiology with plant breeding.

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open. Any experts wishing to participate in the Wheat Plant and Crop Modeling Expert Working Group should complete the application form  and return it via emailwheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

The proposal to establish an Expert Working Group was submitted by 3 proposers from 3 countries and was endorsed for a 2-year period by the Wheat Initiative Research Committee at their 2nd meeting on September 14, 2013, subject to revisions which have now been agreed by the Scientific Board as delegated by the Research Committee.

Purpose

The Expert Working Group on Control of Wheat Pathogens and Pests aims to facilitate global coordination of efforts to develop management and gene stewardship deployment strategies. Whereas coordination of research on the three rust pathogens will build on the framework of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, the facilitation of networks and interactions among key labs conducting research on host-selective toxin-producing nectrophic pathogens, Fusarium head blight, powdery mildew, wheat blast, pathogenic nematodes, virus diseases, and insect pests is needed to encourage the sharing of information and coordination of efforts. These activities will lead to reductions in yield losses due to diseases and pests, and therefore contribute to the enhancement of global food security.

Call for Experts

The call for experts will remain open indefinitely. Any experts wishing to participate in the Control of Wheat Pathogens and Pests Expert Working Group should complete the application form (126KB) and return it via email to wheat.initiative@versailles.inra.fr.

Proposal

The proposal (PDF 886KB) to establish an Expert Working Group was submitted by two proposers from Australia and the USA and received the support of the Wheat Initiative Research Committee at their 3rd meeting on March 21, 2014.

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