Plant breeding is the science of changing the traits of plants, in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding has been practiced by farmers since the dawn of agriculture, as they selected plants for larger seeds, tastier fruits, and other valuable traits. In other words, the goals of plant breeding are to produce crop varieties that boost unique and superior traits for a variety of agricultural applications, a process which may last up to 12 years.
NEWBIE is an Assistance Tool for crop selection that aims to improve the selection efficiency of the breeding programs, accelerating genetic gain and reducing the costs. More specifically, NEWBIE Assistance Tool will be based on the combination of Proximal Phenotyping and Remote Sensing Phenotyping.
Proximal phenotyping will be used in the early breeding stages, under multiple location trials that include small size plots and many seed varieties. Remote Sensing Phenotyping will be combined with proximal phenotyping at later breeding stages, established at larger plot sizes. Both types of phenotyping combined with climate intelligence and coupled with machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, will allow for a comparison of multi-temporal feature datasets through the Assistance Tool for crop selection.
The result of the process will be the identification of optimal performing candidates that can be used for further breeding, in less time and with less resources than conventional breeding requires, while also building the know-how on the varieties that better suit specific areas of interest.