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IBP collaborators gather for data management and analysis workshops

In keeping with the rapid momentum of activities underway in GCP’s Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP), following both a recent re-branding as well as the appointment of key staff, the months of May and June 2010 proved to be equally fruitful for collaborators of this major GCP project, with selected participants joining forces in Zaragoza, Spain, for two workshops on data management and data analysis.

The first event, a Data Management Workshop for Plant Breeding, which was held from 31 May–4 June 2010, aimed to train the data managers from the IBP crop lead centres and the user cases on information management. It is foreseen that these data managers will be the future trainers of the informatics tools.

Activities carried out during the workshop included the completion of the ‘trait dictionary’ for each crop, the definition of the template for the Excel fieldbook, training the data managers in the management of pedigree data, and teaching them how to use the fieldbook, and how to transfer fieldbooks to hand-held computers and harvest data from these. Hands-on training was complemented by plenary presentations, including an introduction to ICIS, as well as addressing topics such as IRIS training materials and protocols for curating data.

A full set of workshop materials, including presentations, programme, list of participants, and more is available in the IBP website.

The second event, a Data Analysis Workshop for Plant Breeding, which took place from 7–11 June 2010, aimed to establish a statistical support network for the Integrated Breeding Platform, namely through the establishment of a core set of statistical procedures to support molecular breeding, as well as through reviewing analytical tools and training materials covering those procedures, setting out a workplan to plug any noteworthy gaps in methodology and training materials, and by establishing a timetable for future training of IBP users in these procedures and mechanisms.

Participants had been requested, before attending the meeting, to consult with breeders in a bid to understand their needs and thereby come to the workshop equipped with detailed information on current systems being used in their respective institutes and projects, ensuring workshop activities and discussions remained relevant to user demands throughout. In addition to this breeder feedback and practical training, participants benefitted from methodology and training material presentations on QTL, GxE, QTLxE and association analysis, amongst other lecture-type presentations and feedback reports from participants.

To access the presentations and other materials from this workshop, please visit the workshop homepage within the IBP website.

For materials from other past GCP workshops and events, please visit our Capacity-building corner.