From: Tal Sandler, NoCamels, More from this Affiliate
Published March 7, 2012 10:15 AM

Breeding Genetically Superior Plants: There's an App for That

Plant breeders in many ways are like meticulous painters: To develop new varieties of fruits, vegetables or flowers, they have to know how to mix just the right plants to create new colors, better produce, or longer shelf life.

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To do that, breeders need to accumulate a lot of data that is complex and sometimes difficult to keep track of and follow. They grow plants in fields and do observations, including going field by field or plant by plant to categorize them under different traits such as size, weight, sweetness, etc.

Phenom-Networks, an Israeli bio-informatics software company, developed a web-based platform for data integration in breeding research to answer the challenges of plant breeding.

The company was co-founded by Dr. Yanive Semel and Dr. Dani Zamir, both from the agriculture department of the Hebrew University in Israel.

According to Dr. Zamir, the strength of the software is in its simple and intuitive graphics of trends and patterns. These can be converted to knowledge and to identification of genetic markers that affect phenotypes – which are the observable characteristics or traits of a plant.

Phenom-Networks’ platform consists of two components; a breeding data management platform, and statistical analysis of biological experiments. The software is being used by customers in the private sector, academic laboratories and research projects.

Article continues: http://nocamels.com/2012/03/app-backed-by-former-mossad-chief-helps-plant-breeders-collect-field-data/

Plant nursery image via Shutterstock

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