Instrumental = directly related to industry measures
= high-throughput for quantitative measures
Sensory = directly related to consumer perception
= high-throughput for qualitative measures
Eight Guiding Principles
- Commercial Relevance. This refers to A) relation to industry value; and B) relation to consumer perception and value. There can be a disconnect between A and B if industry measures (e.g. quality indices) are not aligned with consumer value.
- Heritability and Precision (Genetic relevance). Traits measured should closely represent genetic potential. Higher heritability estimates can be realized by minimizing environmental variance. As always, replicate as necessary across years, locations, trees, and fruits to increase precision.
- Redundancy Avoidance. Given limited resources – time, money and personnel – efficient use of program resources is key to a successful breeding operation. Avoid measuring the same thing in different ways. Aim for no genetic correlation between traits.
- Availability of Expertise. Plan ahead. Using only what is available and/or familiar can result in compromising the principles of Heritability & Precision and Redundancy Avoidance.
- Throughput. Plants have limited windows for evaluation, and breeding programs must keep up with incoming samples through the season. Prioritize trait evaluation that need immediate attention over those than can be done on stored samples or tissues.
- Personnel Fatigue. Repetition of the same method all day in a field or lab can lead to loss of data reliability, morale, and the personnel themselves. Whenever possible, use instrumentation to replace repetitive labor.
- Cost and Cost-efficiency. With an unlimited budget, we could measure everything, with massive replication. Compare costs of alternative methods and the minimum replication to achieve same genetic potential description.
- Standardization. This refers to the transferability of information across sites, institutions, etc. Within an individual site, repeatability across seasons, personnel is important.
Who Benefits from Standardized Phenotyping?
- Data from breeding and research programs enhances knowledge about a germplasm collection.
- Gene bank descriptors can help fuel advances in plant breeding and upstream research.
- Breeding data can enable research discoveries.
- Basic research can further breeding progress.
Coordination is Vital!