Wheat Improvement

Scientists in the national Wheat Improvement Strategic Programme (WISP) conduct wheat pre-breeding research, the results of which are made freely available to breeders. 

Wheat is currently is the UK’s largest crop. Worldwide, more land is used to grow wheat than any other crop. It has overtaken rice to become the second most produced cereal after maize.

Pre-breeding supports the development of new varieties of wheat, and will have a major impact in addressing elements of the global challenge of food security. 


The programme is funded by the BBSRC and coordinated by the John Innes Centre, in partnership with Rothamsted Research, National Institute for Agricultural Botany, the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.


Rothamsted Research NIAB University of Nottingham Bristol University


Wisp Breeders' Diversity Toolkit

The WISP Breeders' Diversity Toolkit is the result of joint resource development and analysis carried out across the Wheat Improvement project partners. Find out more and browse the toolkit at wisplandracepillar.jic.ac.uk/toolkit

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Featured Scientist

Julie Ellwood

Julie Ellwood

Cell and Developmental Biology

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Featured Publication

Uncovering hidden variation in polyploid wheat

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