"Bioinformatics will cause great changes in the breeding industry"

Bioinformatics will cause great changes in the breeding industry. This statement is the conclusion that Erwin Cardol of the Seed Valley, made at a meeting of Tuinbouw Digitaal, where 60 people of the world of plant breeding and propagation were present. They attended some positive presentations at the proeftuin Zwaagdijk.

Dick de Ridder, prof. bioinformatics of Wageningen UR outlined the perspective of bioinformatics for horticulture in the coming 10 to 20 years. The practical possibilities of bioinformatics of today at breeding companies were clarified by Joachim Bargsten of Enza and Jorn de Haan of GeneTwister.

The genetic characteristics of plants are unravelled with software and equipment at diminishing costs, whereupon the breeder can cross and select the plants with the right properties, more rapidly than was the case before. The large amount of data created is the source for modern genotyping with markers.

The development and application of intelligent sensors to collect data in combination with camera systems and drones is also about speed. Linked to smart software which can analyze and present large amounts of data, plants can be analyzed and assessed during cultivation. This ‘digital phenotyping’ ensures a fast selection and propagation process by the breeder and propagator.

The meeting ‘Innovation with ICT for breeding and propagation’ was held November 12th, organised by Tuinbouw Digitaal at Proeftuin Zwaagdijk.

Tuinbouw Digitaal is a cooperative initiative of FrugIcom, Floricode, Edibulb and Wageningen UR. Tuinbouw Digitaal studies, informs, and facilitates. It is aimed at improving knowledge about information management and stimulating the use of information standards in horticulture.

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