Developing Topic Groups into Curriculum for Crop Improvement: Evolution of the Plant Breeding and Genomics Community of Practice

Monday, July 22, 2013: 4:30 PM
Springs Salon A/B (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
David Francis , Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH
Shawn Yarnes , The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH
John McQueen , Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Barbara E. Liedl , Gus R. Douglass Institute, West Virginia State University, Institute, WV
Michael Coe , Cedar Lake Research Group, Cedar Lake Research Group, Portland, OR
The plant breeding and genomics community of practice (PBG CoP; develops constructive, inquiry-based tutorials to help plant breeders translate basic research into applied outcomes. Because changes in DNA sequencing, genotyping technology, and computational methods impact how plant breeders organize and conduct crop improvement programs, there is a need for continuing education and outreach to facilitate translation into applied outcomes. Resources available through incorporate video, data sets, and scripts for software in order to facilitate self-paced learning. Our goal is to help professionals learn to implement new selection strategies using data from next generation sequencing, large data sets of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and open-source statistical software.  Although our content targets professional plant breeders, their staff, and associated professionals, a large proportion of our audience (~32%) consists of graduate students. The appeal of our content to a student audience has influenced a reorganization of existing tutorials and case-studies into curriculum groups. This reorganization has facilitated use of the material in workshop and classroom settings.  The existence of over 120 videos, organized into 19 playlists, and linked to example data and software demonstrations provides opportunities for flipping traditional classroom teaching. Students or workshop participants can watch tutorials as homework, and class time devoted to hands-on implementation. Instructor time can then be spent facilitating individual and team-based efforts in comparative analysis and problem solving related to analysis and data flow.  Assessment and use statistics from PBG CoP’s first two years suggests that educational materials are meeting a growing demand for plant breeding and genomics education.  Inquiry-based extension has proven a successful way to provide computational training to plant breeders, postdoctoral researchers, and students.  The information was collaboratively developed by the Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project (SolCAP), the Conifer Translational Genomics Network (CTGN), the Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project (BarleyCAP), and RosBREED and supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through AFRI and SCRI grant programs.