International Winter Wheat Improvement Program: history, activities, impact and future
International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (IWWIP) was established in 1986 between the Government of Turkey and CIMMYT with three main objectives: (1) develop winter/facultative germplasm for Central and West Asia, (2) facilitate global winter wheat germplasm exchange, and (3) training wheat scientists. ICARDA joined the program in 1991 making it a threeway partnership that continues to work effectively. The germplasm developed by IWWIP as well as the winter wheat cultivars and lines received from global cooperators are assembled into international nurseries. These nurseries are offered annually to public and private entities (IWWIP website) and distributed to more than 100 cooperators in all continents. IWWIP impact has primarily been in new winter wheat cultivars combining broad adaptation, high yield potential, drought tolerance and disease resistance. A total of 93 IWWIP cultivars have been released in 11 countries occupying annually an estimated 2.5–3.0 Mha. IWWIP cooperation with researchers in Turkey, Central and West Asia and several US universities has resulted in a number of publications reviewed in this paper. Important IWWIP impacts include national inventories of wheat landraces in Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, their collection, characterization, evaluation and utilization.
Keywords: biotic and abiotic stresses, breeding, methodology, winter wheat