Newsletter: 11 August 2017

News about the Genomes To Fields (G2F)
Phenotyping Initiative

August 11, 2017

2014 and 2015 Genomes To Fields datasets are now publicly available

The Genomes To Fields (G2F) has been collecting standardized maize phenotypic, genotypic and environmental data from numerous field trial locations across the North America beginning in 2014 (known as the Maize GxE Trial). Recently, the 2014 and 2015 datasets have been made available to the public. The available 2016 data has, at the same time, been made available to G2F cooperators. The information contained in these datasets include relevant agronomic and productivity traits, genotypic data for all inbreds utilized, soil and climate data for each testing site along with corresponding metadata from these experiments. This is a unique resource as it represents, to our knowledge, one of the most extensive publicly available datasets that simultaneously measures a consistent set of traits across common sets of fully genotyped germplasm and and the same time collects ambient and plot level information.The intent is to allow researchers from many different disciplines to explore and analyze this dataset and learn from it.

The 2014 data are available through this link:  https://doi.org/10.7946/P2V888

The 2015 data are available through this link:  https://doi.org/10.7946/P24S31

The 2016 data are currently available to the cooperators who helped generate it and will be made public next February.

Naser AlKhalifah is new contact person for Genomes To Fields GxE Trial

For those of you who are involved in the Genomes To Fields GxE trial, we have a new contact person, Naser AlKhalifah.  Naser is not new to you as he has been assisting with trial logistics and data management for the past year at Iowa State University.  He has now moved to the University of Wisconsin and will be working full time in support of Genomes To Fields.

His predecessor, Emily Rothfusz, finished her role with G2F on July 31.

Naser’s email is alkhalifah@wisc.edu.

Save the Date:  December 5, 2017

Genomes To Fields will once again be holding a cooperators meeting in conjunction with the ASTA meetings in Chicago during the afternoon of December 5th to provide an update on the status and progress of this initiative.  This meeting will follow the Corn Breeding Research/NCCC167 meeting.  More details about registration and venue to come as the date approaches.

Funding Update

Efforts continue to provide increased and sustained funding for Genomes To Fields. Government Relations groups from several universities (Wisconsin, Iowa State, Minnesota, Cornell, Penn State) have been working together to build federal support for funding of G2F. A group from Iowa State, Wisconsin and Penn State, along with G2F Executive Committee members Natalia de Leon, Pat Schnable, Jonathan Lynch and David Ertl, met in Washington DC on June 5 to discuss strategies for seeking federal funding. In the afternoon hill visits were made to Iowa and Wisconsin legislators.

The 2017 Federal Budget was released in May and included $1.25 million in funding for FY17 for G2F as a complement of the ARS-Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM)  program. Details are still being worked out on where these funds will flow, but this is great news for G2F and maize research in general.

Additionally, work is proceeding on getting support in the Fy18 federal budget, with language making it into both the House and Senate versions of their Agriculture Appropriations Bills for funding support for phenotyping.

In addition to this, state corn boards and National Corn Growers continues to provide significant funding to keep G2F moving forward.  A total of $894,000 was raised by these organizations in FY17, in additional to all the in-kind support by the many cooperators and their respective institutions.

Finally, the Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska corn boards sponsored a matching grants program with USDA-NIFA this past year in the area of phenotyping, and as a result, three grants were awarded by USDA-NIFA’s Plant Breeding Program.  All three of these have ties to G2F.

Data Analysis

Discussions are taking place with the International AgroInformatics Alliance at the University of Minnesota to collaborate with G2F to support efforts enhancing data ingress, data curation, data query and dataset interconnection for the G2F GxE trial.  More information will be forthcoming as plans are formalized