Wheat genomics comes of age

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Advances in wheat genomics have lagged behind other major cereals (e.g. rice and maize) due to its highly repetitiveand large polyploid genome. Recent technological developments in sequencing and assembly methods, however,have largely overcome these barriers. The community now moves to an era centred on functional characterisation ofthe genome. This includes understanding sequence and structural variation as well as how information is integratedacross multiple homoeologous genomes. This understanding promises to uncover variation previously hidden fromnatural and human selection due to the often observed functional redundancy between homoeologs. Key functionalgenomic resources will enable this, including sequenced mutant populations and gene editing technologies which arenow available in wheat. Training the next-generation of genomics-enabled researchers will be essential to ensurethese advances are quickly translated into farmers’ fields.