South Australian SSA 27 September 2017 Meeting
The speaker at the September 2017 meeting of the SA Branch was Dr Julian Taylor from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, the University of Adelaide. His current research is based on the development of statistical methodology and models along with their computational implementation for use in the analysis of plant breeding experiments. His talk “plant breeding biometry in the digital agriculture era” is a piece of his current methodological research work. Advancements in next-generation sequencing technology allow more detailed dissections of plant genomes along with deeper exploration of their connection to phenotypic traits of interest, he mentioned.
At the beginning of his talk, Julian pointed out the crucial role of the biometrician in the advancing digital landscape. The methodological and computational challenges for analyses of large data sets collected from plant breeding experiments were subsequently highlighted in his talk. A substantial focus on potential bias, intention-to-treat-analysis, presence of missing data, and multiple imputations would increase the precision and better outcome of the study, he said. A large wheat diversity panel data set from Australian Grains Technologies (AGT) was presented and used for various gene-trait analyses. Julian also raised the point of necessity for close collaboration with other researchers in plant breeding including bioinformaticians and high-performance computing personnel.
A dinner was held right after the meeting at Cafe Michael, Adelaide.