CropBooster-P literature database

Within the CropBooster-P project, that aims to generate a roadmap to future proof Europe’s crops, scientific experts have generated a database presenting the most relevant data, techniques and genetic pathways underlying plant yield, sustainability and nutritional quality. The database represents an unprecedented expert annotated resource capturing the major advances in yield-related plant research. In this way, the database forms a state-of-the-art resource to identify the genetic basis of plant traits that can be exploited to future-proof our current crops.

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About the CropBooster-P literature database

The CropBooster-P project generates a roadmap to future proof Europe’s crops. For this, the most important terrestrial, aquatic and/or underutilized crops have been identified and options to sustainably increase their yield and adaptation capability for the future climate, while retaining or improving their nutritional quality, have been investigated. As part of the CropBooster-P project, we identified the plant traits, genetic basis (transferable and heritable traits) and technologies underlying yield potential, yield stability under abiotic stress, resource use efficiency and nutritional quality. To collect the latest advances in the field and the most relevant data as published in high impact publications, keystone publications and outstanding reviews, a broad panel of scientific experts and stakeholders was selected to contribute the most relevant literature in their field of expertise. This data collection strategy proceeded in the form of surveys that were split into two sections feeding into one core database:

  • Section 1 contained general information, including e.g. publication title, author list, year of publication, abstract or summary of the article, crop category, species, geographical region, described gene or trait, biological pathway, methods and/or technologies used to identify and characterise the corresponding genes and traits, orthologues, transferability potential or restrictions and relevance for increasing plant yield, sustainability and/or nutritional quality.
  • Section 2 was more detailed and specific, comprising information on the determinants of yield, sustainability and/or nutritional quality, divided into levels and sublevels to better define the traits and sub-traits, their genetic basis and their response to environmental factors. In this way, an ontology structure was generated to organise and structure the information in the database. Throughout the survey, also free text boxes were included to enable experts to highlight and explain the importance and the relevance of the selected literature.

The database gives a scientifically sound overview of the ‘state-of-the-art’ literature capturing the major advances in the respective research fields and represents an unprecedented expert resource including the most recent advances to improve crop productivity. The database will be continuously updated and can be used to identify plant traits and their genetic basis to future-proof our current crops. Besides extracting specific information, the database also allows to reveal useful correlations across species and traits, e.g to identify genes regulating multiple plant traits. Within the CropBooster-P project, the database will serve as a foundation to draft a research plan to breed our future crops. But also, it will be used as an input to engage into discussions with breeders, stakeholder groups and the public at large.