WP 4: Data management

Based on the knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of plant breeding innovations in the past (WP 1), the production systems are to be optimized constantly. The extent to which innovations in plant breeding achieved today (WP 2, WP 3) contribute to the sustainable use of all natural resources can only be determined and evaluated (WP 5) if appropriate information systems allow to do so in the future. This WP will create such an information system.

The main objectives of WP 4 are to establish an information system matching the INSUSFAR project partner’s needs, e.g. the documentation of historical data for WP1, data from field experiments and long-term evolutionary plant breeding programs generated in WP2, data from on-farm case studies produced in WP 3, and to provide all data needed for the socio-economic and ecological impact studies of WP 5. The information system is named ROBUSTUM which refers to the expected robustness of populations towards varying stress conditions. In addition, the aim is to develop the system into a data repository and tool allowing - in a spatial and temporal context - long-term systematic research on the contribution of breeding and management of populations to a productive agriculture which treats its own resources in a sustainable manner.

WP 4 is comprised of seven individual tasks:

Task 4.1 Description of use cases and clarification of non-functional requirements
This task reports the requirements for the INSUSFAR information system to be established based on a comprehensive demand analysis describing all needs of the project partners regarding data storage and retrieval.

Task 4.2 Development and negotiation of a memorandum of understanding
A memorandum of understanding has been signed by TU München, Uni Kassel and Julius Kühn-Institut in order to ensure the long-term availability of the information system as well as of other INSUSFAR resources.

Task 4.3 Bench-marking of potentially suitable information systems
Potentially suitable information systems available proved to be suitable only in parts for certain use cases, and in consequence, just some components will be taken over into a newly designed INSUSFAR information system.

Task 4.4 Database design and implementation
A database meeting the prompt needs of the INSUSFAR project partners for WP 1 analyses has been developed for storage and retrieval of historical data on the breeding progress in the past. A web-based user interface grants access to the data.

Task 4.5 Consolidation of historical data sets
Historical data sets from WP 1 have been checked for plausibility, and observation values and measurements have been harmonized prior to database upload. During upload, the database additionally identifies duplicate records.

Task 4.6 Design of a data management system for evolutionary plant breeding
ROBUSTUM is being developed as a documentation system to trace the complex histories of INSUSFAR’s populations, to store characterization and evaluation data from the field trials and to record the respective environmental and cropping conditions.

Task 4.7 Implementation of public user interfaces
A public user interface is being developed for ROBUSTUM enabling data input and easy data access, thus making the results of the INSUSFAR project available also beyond the lifetime of the project.