IBP Update Issue No. 2 - December 2011

Leadership and management roles for IBP project adjusted

The leadership and management of the Integrated Breeding Platform project has been reorganised in keeping with the strategic direction of the project and other recent staff changes at GCP.

Xavier Delannay, GCP Integrated Crop Breeding Theme Leader, takes over as IBP Project Leader from Graham McLaren. Graham will however still be intensely involved in the project in his capacity as GCP Crop Informatics Theme Leader and chair of the WorkBench Implementation Team. Read more.


Technical support for data management now in place

To help overcome the challenges our collaborators face with data management, and potentially use of the informatics tools under development as part of the IBP project, GCP has recruited a team of four experienced consultants to provide technical support in this area to the IBP user cases and all other GCP partners.

The support encompasses establishment of local databases for a breeding program; curating germplasm information; loading datasets to the IB database; documenting the Trait Dictionary; training and support and in the use of informatics, stand-alone tools and the IBP web portal; and populating the IBP portal community pages with useful and dynamic information.
Read more.




Fifty frequently measured breeding traits being documented

A well documented trait dictionary is necessary for standardised measurement of traits of breeding significance. A participatory Generation Challenge Programme initiated process to establish a Trait Dictionary with the fifty most important traits frequently measured in breeding for bean, cassava, cowpea, chickpea, groundnuts, maize, rice, sorghum and wheat is in its final stages. Read more.



The Integrated Breeding portal two months on

It is just about two months since the Integrated Breeding web portal went live at www.integratedbreeding.net. In this period just about one hundred members have registered and joined various crop communities, some of which are already witnessing some traffic in member postings and discussions.

The crop databases (and other useful information) are now conveniently accessible and downloadable from the Crop Information pages of the portal, and a query interface is under development for each to enhance the user experience. Convenient links have been provided to useful capacity building resources.

Many of the tools of the configurable workflow are still under development but will become available for download via the Breeding Activities pages of the portal in the coming months – with notifications sent out as they become ready for user testing. These pages however already provide useful information on and access to breeding schemes and third party open source informatics tools. The Capacity building pages provide access to useful training and support resources.


We encourage you to register on the portal and get involved by making posts and comments on the community pages. For help with registration, you can download Registering and Joining a Crop Community, and for guidance on the community blogs, download Making a Post at the bottom of this page. And please send your feedback (much desired!) to Fred Okono.  The Integrated Breeding Platform Portal is best viewed via an HTML 5 Browser such as Internet Explorer 9, Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Capacity building for integrated breeding

In its second and final phase, the Generation Challenge Programme is focussing on promoting and enabling the adoption of modern molecular breeding strategies and facilitative informatics technologies by developing country breeding programmes.A comprehensive human resource capacity-building programme is a vital part of this effort, and the Integrated Breeding Platform is a pivotal component of this.

GCP is revitalising  its approach to capacity-building, with a proposed training programme that will be spread over three years, starting in April 2012, cumulatively adding up to six weeks of intensive face-to-face training workshops supported by online and other resources made available through the Integrated Breeding Platform Portal. The curriculum will focus on transferring vital skills in experiment design, data collection and management, data analysis and decision making. The different informatics tools and software applications developed under the IBP project will be the primary examples for the application of modern information and communication technologies to the breeding process.

Trainees will be drawn from developing countries of Africa and Asia. They will be required to commit to the entire training programme, to ensure that they will acquire a complete understanding of the progressive pipeline of activities that constitute an integrated breeding project – from initiation, through identification of markers correlated to the breeding objective, to the implementation of markers in the breeding programme.

The ultimate goal of the programme is to build a critical mass of scientists trained in integrated breeding in each of the targeted regions, capable of proficiently employing modern molecular breeding methodologies and using cutting edge bioinformatics tools in their work.

We will be sending further communication on this in the coming weeks, particularly requesting nomination of persons to undergo the training.


Please send any feedback on IBP Update to Xavier Delannay or Fred Okono

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