Efficient collection and management of breeding data using a newly developed database system

S. Moriya, K. Okada, T. Shimizu, K. Abe
Breeding perennial fruit trees requires continuous effort over long periods and a great deal of labor. Conventionally, the use of hand-written field books and spreadsheets can easily lead to errors in transcribing data to a spreadsheet application and requires careful checks that are time consuming and expensive. Therefore, the method by which phenotypic and breeding data are collected and managed requires an update. In this study, we developed a database system that assists breeders with the efficient digital recording of phenotypic data using electronic tablets and manages comprehensive breeding data, including the phenotype, genotype and selection track. This was trialled for use with the apple breeding program at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation. The operational protocol allows five concurrent clients in a local area network to share hosted files; therefore, every researcher in our research unit was able to use a tablet. Researchers can record the scores of sensory evaluation directly from their tablets. Recorded data were immediately combined with hybrid status, population status and crossing parent status. In addition, the database allowed users to easily summarize the breeding data in arbitrary restricted durations and hybrid identification numbers. Introducing this database to the breeding program resulted in significantly more efficient data collection, management and aggregation, without any negative influences on current protocols. It eliminated several must-do steps in the conventional protocol, including preparation of field notes and transcription to spreadsheet applications. Moreover, the ability to export the data to any spreadsheet format facilitated digital data preparation and will expedite the implementation of genome-informed breeding strategies, such as genomic selection, in breeding programmes.
Moriya, S., Okada, K., Shimizu, T. and Abe, K. (2021). Efficient collection and management of breeding data using a newly developed database system. Acta Hortic. 1307, 27-35
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1307.5
apple, digital recording, dynamic summary, genome-informed breeding, tablet

Acta Horticulturae