AfricaYam visits BTI and NextGen ahead of the project’s proposed second phase
BTI is an independent research institute, which uses plant sciences to improve agriculture and has been involved in the AfricaYam project from inception. They created a database called YamBase that hosts pedigree data, phenotypic data from field trials, genomic resources and laboratory assays, as well as assemblage of curated historical phenotypic data from IITA and partner programs for analysis.
The Institute has also conducted numerous training for the user groups in both IITA and the breeding programs of the four target countries. YamBase so far counts over 54,000 accessions with over 1,500 genotypes, 7 breeding programs, 197 assayed traits, about 414,000 phenotype scores, and over 325 trials.
Adebola said the one-week visit was aimed at meeting with the BTI YamBase development team to review the progress made so far and to suggest areas of improvement and plans for AfricaYam phase 2.
He also noted that during the meetings with the BTI group, they made useful suggestions on how to improve the usability of the database and suggested additional traits to be added to yam ontology. “It is our hope that YamBase will be a one-stop-shop for farmers,” he said.
They also met with the NextGen Cassava team in Cornell and explored areas of possible collaboration in preparation for AfricaYam phase 2. NextGen Cassava is a Breeding project that works with a number of institutional partners and collaborators for efficient delivery of improved varieties of cassava.