Source: IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jan 1, 2018
Project End Date
Dec 31, 2019
Grant Year
Project Director
Schnable, P. S.
Recipient Organization
2229 Lincoln Way
AMES,IA 50011
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
G2F is an umbrella initiative to support translation of maize genomic information for the benefit of growers, consumers and society. This initiative will promote projects that advance integrated research and technologies, combining fields such as genetics, genomics, plant physiology, agronomy, climatology and crop modeling, with computation and informatics, statistics and engineering. TheG2fconference will focus on exposing the field-based G2F collaborators, many of whom are plant breeders, to novel tools (such as robots, UAVs and sensors) and approaches for analyzing data. Talks will be geared to the needs of the data generators and the group will discuss strategies to integrate these new technologies into G2F. Participants will discuss, together with International Agroinformatics Alliance (IAA), how to clean up, store and share multi-year geocoded field trial data. The Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University has been successful at creating an environment that fosters the development of collaborations among plant scientist, engineers and computational scientists. One of the goals of the proposed conference is to encourage participants to replicate this approach on their own campuses, which if successful will expand the pool of engineers and computational scientists who can contribute the G2F-related research in all crops and bring new ideas and approaches to bear on the challenges facing US agriculture. In addition, by encouraging students who are being mentored by the G2F collaborators (many of whom are public sector plant breeders) to attend the conference we will enrich the population of attendees for students with an interest in plant breeding.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
Meeting the challenges facing US agriculture requires the development of more efficient methods for crop breeding. To address this need, the Genomes to Fields (G2F) Initiative has been growing commercially relevant maize hybrids at approximately two dozen field sites across the US every year since 2014. The genotypes and phenotypes of these hybrids are being shared with the larger research community to support breeding research. The proposed conference will bring together G2F data generators, engineers, computational scientists, industry scientists and graduate and undergraduate students. The conference will expose the field-based G2F data generators, many of whom are public-sector corn breeders to novel tools and approaches for data analysis, as well as best practices for gathering, processing and sharing G2F data with the larger research community. Attendees will be encouraged to deploy on their home campuses a strategy designed to stimulate collaborations among plant scientists, engineers and computation scientists. To promote the education of the next generation of plant breeders and more generally, promote careers in plant breeding, genetics and genomics, students will interact with geneticists, breeders and other scientists from both the public and private sectors. In addition, students will tour the R&D facilities of one of the largest plant breeding companies in the world and participate in panel discussions of opportunities for entrepreneurship in the Ag sector and careers in crop breeding companies.Objectives: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.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.
Project Methods
G2F is a publicly initiated and led research initiative to catalyze and coordinate research linking genomics and phenomics to achieve advances that generate societal and environmental benefits. This conference will be the first to assemble G2F's data generators and the engineers who are developing new high-throughput, field-based phenotyping technologies and computational scientists focused on gathering, cleaning and sharing high-throughput, field-based phenomic data for G2F and developing novel approaches for analyzing these data. G2F collaborators and students will be invited to Iowa State University to attend a two-day conference (planned for late January, 2018) that will provide an exposure to new field-based phenotyping technologies, along with best practices in data collection and new methods of data analysis and interpretation.We will encourage data generators to deploy new phenotyping technologies in their plots and inform the engineers and computational scientists of the needs of these data generators. Attendance is estimated at 100 participants.

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 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.


  • Type: Other Status: Other Year Published: 2018 Citation: High Throughput, Field-Based Phenotyping Technologies for the Genomes to Fields (G2F) Initiative White Paper.
  • Type: Websites Status: Published Year Published: 2018 Citation: