Phenotyping tools and services

Phenotyping for abiotic stress tolerance in maize: drought stress. A field manual

Crop breeding programs using conventional and/or molecular breeding approaches rely heavily on high-quality phenotypic data generated by evaluating genotypes in different environmental conditions, such as drought.

In this manual, the traits of interest for phenotyping are those that mitigate yield losses rather than those involved in the survival or escape of plants exposed to drought stress.

This manual is targeted at maize breeders and field technicians in tropical environments who are working on improving maize tolerance to drought stress.

Phenotyping for abiotic stress tolerance in maize: waterlogging stress. A field manual

Maize crops grown during the summer rainy season in the tropics occasionally face extreme weather conditions that limit crop establishment and yield potential. Among various abiotic stresses, contingent/intermittent soil waterlogging is one of the important constraints for maize production in the Asian tropics and many other maize growing areas around the world.

Field Book

Field Book was created to replace paper field books to enable increased collection speed with greater data integrity, using a novel collection system that only displays a single cell to be collected at a time.

Field Book can collect data in the following formats: numeric, percentage, categorical, date, Boolean, text, photo, counter, rust rating, and audio. Traits are defined by the user and can be exported and transferred between devices. Sample files are provided with the installation.


The KDSmart application, designed for Android handheld devices, enables data collection in the field. Trial/Nursery phenotypic data, selectively imported into KDSmart, is available in the field for efficient and reliable data capture and storage ready for upload.

KDSmart can be used:

Steve Corak

Phenotyping tools and services

Steve Corak
Steve Corak brings over twenty years of private sector experience to his new role with Excellence in Breeding. The majority of Steve’s past efforts have focused on seed production research as well as implementation of improved technologies. He holds graduate degrees in crop physiology and soil science, as well as multiple US and foreign patents. He was awarded DuPont’s Sustainable Growth award and Pioneer’s Owen Newlin Business Excellence award for his contributions in developing an internet-enable global plant disease diagnostic network.

Phenotyping tools and services

New mechanization, automation, precision and high-throughput phenotyping tools have the potential to lower the cost of assessing variety traits and genotype-environment-management interactions while and improving accuracy and precision.

The phenotyping module supports Platform members to adopt these new tools to increase the quantity and quality of phenotypic data they produce, and to use this data to improve the effectiveness of their breeding programs.

As a community of practice, the module creates information about tools, guides and best practices to be shared through the platform Toolbox. Expert interdisciplinary advice is shared to enable more rapid and effective adoption of phenotyping tools.

Finally, the module supports users to upgrade and share their phenotyping infrastructure, acts as a broker for approved services, and interfaces with the Bioinformatics, biometrics and data management module to support the management and use of phenotypic data.

Option box: 
Module leader