Evaluation of Helium: Visualization of Large Scale Plant Pedigrees

Paul Shaw, Jessie Kennedy, Martin Graham, Iain Milne, David Marshall

Plant breeders are utilising an increasingly diverse range of data types in order to aid in the identification of candidate lines that have characteristics and properties suitable to be taken forward in plant breeding programmes. Tools that provide the ability to pull these data types together, and integrate with pedigree structure, will facilitate breeders and researchers to make more informed decisions relating to suitable plant lines to use in subsequent crossings. It is imperative that we develop more suitable crops to meet both the population imposed mandate for increased yield/production and adaptation to a changing global climate. We have utilised a large and unique barley dataset in order to develop an interactive visualization system which we have called Helium. We have then taken Helium and performed a subjective user evaluation with domain experts in order to guide and direct our development of this application. Our testing has shown that our expert users are comfortable with a move away from more traditional pedigree representations and were able to perform standard tasks such as tracing lineage with relative ease. Our initial testing has also shown that our tool is a valuable aid in error identification when coupled with our unique datasets. Challenges do however still exist and we are working towards addressing these.

BioVis 2013 Information

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