Continuing its efforts to build the capacity of its partner institutions, ICRISAT organized a six-day training course on “Advanced Experimental Designs, Data Analysis and Management for Breeding Trials.”

The training focused on the use of advanced statistical analysis methods, bioinformatics and data management software to improve quality of research and reporting. It provided the participants an understanding on several aspects of efficient experimental designing including generation and analysis of replicated, partial replicated and nonreplicated trials, mixed models, data cleaning, curation, appropriate statistical analysis and interpretation. Importance of field variability and its influence in correct analysis of data was also discussed using spatial analysis techniques.

Participants also learnt several clustering methods for handling multivariate data. Various aspects of bioinformatics, good data management practices, management of pedigree, nurseries, and trial data by using GCP-Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) were also discussed.

A field visit to the Melkassa Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia, was organized for participants to understand the practical aspects of experimental design. The principles of experimental design, such as blocking, randomization, replication and other practical field aspects such as field gradient control, controlling border effect were explained. Participants were also trained to use electronic data capture methodologies and data recording mechanism using hand held devices.

Twenty-seven scientists, technicians and research scholars representing 13 countries including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe took part in the event organized from 3-8 November, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The training program was organized by ICRISAT’s Breeding Informatics Unit (BIU) and was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Programs on Grain Legumes and on Dryland Systems.

Adapted from ICRISAT Happenings