Barcodes to keep banana breeding on track
Banana breeding is complex and getting seed from crosses is challenging. A new digital system, the Banana Breeding Tracking Tool (BTracT) now helps breeders keep tabs on each plant and manage data and activities at different sites.
Each banana plant gets its own barcode, which is scanned on the BTracT handheld device. The barcodes are used to electronically record data on pollination, harvest and tissue culture. BTracT uses a web-based dashboard to follow each plant as it moves from tissue culture lab to screenhouse to the field. This reduces mistakes in identity, locates critical bottlenecks and makes banana breeding more efficient.
“The BTracT app and dashboard are providing real-time data to the breeding team and shifts the efforts from data collection and curation to making informed breeding decisions quicker and with accurate data,” says Trushar Shah, bioinformatician at IITA.