Recording: Subsets and trait data in Genesys

27 May 2022

The recording of the webinar Subsets and trait data in Genesys is available!

Our webinar on 24 May 2022 focused on how to manage collection subsets and trait data in Genesys. About 70 participants from 35 organizations joined the session. Many thanks to everyone who attended, and special thanks to all who asked questions!

The recording is available at

Genebanks can use “subsets” to promote a group of accessions with a specific trait or traits of actual or potential interest to users, or that otherwise make sense together, and have sufficient quantity for immediate distribution. Examples include drought-tolerant material, accessions that have been purified and sequenced, and core collections. Users may request the entire subset from the genebank, or pick only some accessions from the list. Of course, users still have the possibility to choose material from the entire collection, or implement their own methods for selecting accessions for their research based on data available to them in Genesys and elsewhere. But having ready-made subsets available can save some time and effort.

Another way Genesys facilitates user access to collections is via characterization and evaluation (C&E) data. Such datasets must be well documented to be published on Genesys. That means having full metadata about how the trait observations were made and how they were recorded. This metadata is crucial for users to be able to make sense of the C&E data and reuse it in their analysis. If the value of a column labeled “RES” for an accession is given as “5” in an Excel spreadsheet, for example, there needs to be an explanation that “RES” refers to level of resistance to a specific disease under specific circumstances, say, and that the “5” was the score on an ordinal scale. Trial conditions, methodology, treatments, data licensing etc. must be sufficiently documented or users risk making incorrect assumptions and invalid conclusions. Contact information about the owner of the data and links to publications, when available, are very useful in providing context about each dataset. During the webinar, we revisited the key elements of descriptor development (based on Guidelines for the development of crop descriptor lists) and discussed the C&E metadata handled by Genesys.