Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab - A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.
26 February 2015
Also appears in Growing Georgia: http://growinggeorgia.com/news/2015/03/international-crop-breeders-visit-university-georgia-bioinformatics-training/
17 March 2015
On 24-26 February, the Integrated Breeding Platform held a training workshop for the Breeding Management System (BMS) at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The training was hosted by the Feed the Future Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL) and included approximately 15 breeders focused on a variety of crops such as peanut, millet, soybean, cacao and watermelon.
|IBP participants learning about the Breeding Management System at the University of Georgia.|
The Breeding Management System (BMS) is a software suite designed to help breeders conduct their routine activities, and increase their efficiency by reducing the time and cost needed to develop improved cultivars. It combines data management, analysis and decision-support tools that accommodate common breeding schemes, from conventional breeding through increasing levels of marker use.
Breeding management programs are the next step in advancing genomics research in the next decade according to Peggy Ozias-Akins who helped organise and attended the BMS training.
Ozias-Akins is a Lead Scientist for the PMIL Plant Genomics project, works on the International Peanut Genome Initiative and is director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.
“Breeding advances will have a large impact on crop production over the next few decades and will be essential to feed a growing population with limited impact on the environment,” said Ozias-Akins.
While the BMS software is the centerpiece of the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP), IBP also provides other products for researchers such as diagnostic markers, germplasm and trait dictionaries, genotyping services, educational resources, and various online communities for plant breeder discussions.
“The IBP provides a one-stop-shop for many of the analytic and data management tools required for breeding,” said Dave Hoisington, Director of PMIL and Chair of the Board of Trustees for IBP.
IBP was first developed through an initiative of the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme (GCP). The concept for IBP is to support the optimisation of plant breeding programmes by disseminating knowledge and providing broad access to breeding technology and best practices, particularly for breeders working in developing countries.
“The management of information is a critical component for an efficient and successful breeding programme. This is especially true with the massive amount of genomic data that is being utilised by many breeding programmes,” said Hoisington.
Tuesday began with an open presentation and overview of the IBP, followed by a demonstration conducted by IBP Trainers Shawn Yarnes and Mark Sawkins.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the focus shifted to hands-on individual instructions for selected breeders, who received information on how to load their data into the system and use it in their own particular breeding programmes.
The training will allow the breeders to fully incorporate the software in their current programmes this year.
|IBP Trainers, from left to right: Arllet Portugal, Mark Sawkins, Shawn Yarnes, and Fernando Rojas|
Ultimately, PMIL and the IBP are interested in providing similar training to our partners in developing countries,” said Hoisington.