East African researchers add the Enterprise Breeding System to their work tools – CIMMYT

Kate Dreher, Data Manager at CIMMYT, presents to scientists, technicians, data management and support teams during the Enterprise Breeding System (EBS) training in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo: Susan Umazi Otieno/CIMMYT)

Breeding scientists, key technicians, and data management and support staff at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) were introduced to the Enterprise Breeding System (EBS) during training at Nairobi, Kenya, May 4-6, 2022. the first in-person training on this advanced tool held in East Africa.

Kate Dreher, Data Manager at CIMMYT, was the lead trainer. Dreher sought to ensure that scientists and their teams are well equipped to confidently use EBS for their programs, including the establishment and management of trials and nurseries. During the training, participants had the opportunity to test, review and provide feedback on the system.

“EBS is a comprehensive online system that brings together different types of data, including field observations and genotypic data, to harmonize processes across all teams and enable optimized short-term decision-making and learning. long term,” Dreher said. .

She explained that EBS is more efficient than the old approach of using the Excel-based Maize Fieldbook software, even though it managed several useful processes.

The EBS is currently available to registered Screening and Support Team Members and Data Stewards of CIMMYT, IITA, IRRI and AfricaRice, in all geographies where related programs are implemented. Currently, EBS is used by programs in maize, rice and wheat crops.

A more streamlined approach

“Although the teams sent germplasm and phenotypic data for centralized storage in two databases (IMIS-GMS and MaizeFinder) maintained by the data management team in Mexico in the past, this required curation after the data has already been generated,” Dreher said. “The EBS will allow teams to manage their germplasm and trial nursery data directly in one system.”

The EBS stores information about germplasm and related seed inventory items. It is also designed to host and perform analyzes using phenotypic and genotypic data. Users can also capture metadata about their trials and nurseries, such as basic agronomic management information and GPS coordinates of sites where experiments are being conducted.

Yoseph Beyene, Regional Maize Breeding Coordinator for Africa and Maize Breeder for East Africa at CIMMYT, observed that the training gave him first-hand information on current capacities and use from the live version to search for germplasm and seeds, and the capabilities to create nurseries and trials. .

“In the AGG project, we have a primary goal that focuses on implementing better data management, experimental designs and breeding methods to accelerate genetic gain and improve breeding efficiency. Therefore, the implementation of EBS is one of the main priorities of the AGG project,” said Yoseph, who leads the project Accelerating Genetic Gains in Maize and Wheat for Improved Livelihoods. Subsistence (AGG).

Lourine Bii, a research associate assistant who recently joined CIMMYT and the only female research technician in the Kenya-based Global Maize program, also found the training useful. “The EBS is a fantastic system that allows an individual to create experiences. The system connects a team, for example a product development team, to get live updates on the different stages of creating an experience, reducing email back and forth.

System software development is ongoing. The development team continues to add and improve features based on user feedback.