Progress 01/01/18 to 12/31/18
Target Audience:G2F data generators (maize geneticists and breeders), engineers, computational scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students. Changes/Problems:We requested a one-year no-cost extension and will host a seminar series focused on innovative data analyses methods and tools. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?A total of 35 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers were exposed to innovative phenotyping technologies and data analyses methods. In addition, they learned by participation in discussion sessions about working in industry and entrepreneurship. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?The presentations at this conference are viewable as live stream video at the project website. The final White Paper was distributed to all authors and NIFA, and is available at https://figshare.com/articles/G2F_NIFA_FACT_Workshop_High_Throughput_Field-based_Phenotyping_Technologies_for_the_Genomes_to_Fields_G2F_Initiative/7074860. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We plan to host seminar series and invite experts in statistics, modeling and machine learning/AI. Rather than focusing on their own research, speakers will be encouraged to speak about how their fields of research could contribute to the analysis of phenomic data. These presentations will be broadcasted over the Internet and saved for on-demand viewing.
What was accomplished under these goals?
Overall impact statement: The U.S. has long played a leading role in developing advanced agricultural technology. We must continue to develop novel approaches to increase the production of food, fiber and fuel while protecting our natural resources and ensuring an economically vibrant agriculture sector. The Genomes to Fields (G2F) Initiative strives to take advantage of new technologies to improve the productivity and stability of maize. In particular, this initiative seeks to connect advances in our understanding of crop genomes with new robotics, high-throughput sensing technologies, and other data gathering devices to understand how plant traits are influenced by genetics and the environment with a long-term aim of developing crops that will exhibit sustainable enhanced productivity across diverse sets of environments and years. In January 2018, G2F hosted a NIFA-supported meeting in Ames, Iowa, increasing knowledge of needed trajectories for research in field-based phenotyping and how best to support those trajectories, and informing USDA NIFA and other federal agencies of our findings and conclusions. For four years, a distributed network of G2F field sites and public-sector collaborators has been generating the data needed to develop predictive models. Generating a vibrant community of researchers from diverse disciplines including the breadth of the plant sciences (e.g., genetics, agronomy, physiology, modeling, and breeding), engineering, computational sciences, and climatology) continues to be critical to the full success of the initiative. Objective 1... Aconference will be held on January 28-30, 2018 at The Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames, IA, to promote the development of more efficient methods for crop breeding. The conference was held on the scheduled dates with a total of 81 registered attendants including 25 faculty members, 30 graduate students, 3 Post-Doctoral Researchers, 7 industry scientists/participants, 11 staff scientists and 5 scientists managers from ISU, NIFA and Iowa Corn Growers Association. Additional local students and scientist attended without formal registration. Objective 2... At the conclusion of the conference the G2F executive committee will prepare a white paper that will focus on new phenotyping technologies and analysis approaches available to the G2F community and an identification of technology and analysis gaps. Many topics were discussed over the course of the three-day workshop, but four themes emerged as areas ripe for focused effort in the coming years: (1) support for ongoing community experiments; (2) development and use of field sensors and plant imaging platforms, (3) creation of data management, sharing, and analytics platforms especially for making effective use of large scale image sets, and (4) engaging additional scientific disciplines in G2F and training the next generation of agricultural scientists. It was suggested that these topics were of interest to advance not only the goals of the G2F initiative, but also the field of predictive plant phenomics more generally. The group supported the idea to enhance coordination efforts across all four themes by designating and/or creating a number of High-Intensity Phenotyping Sites (HIPS) where individualized research areas and local expertise could develop alongside intentional, coordinated linkages focused on advancing topics within the four shared themes. While community experiments are necessarily extensive, these HIPS experiments can be embedded within the G2F testing network and allow for more intensive investigation and development of predictive phenomics tools. Tools and learnings from the HIPS could then be deployed more broadly.
High Throughput, Field-Based Phenotyping Technologies for the Genomes to Fields (G2F) Initiative White Paper.