NEXTGEN Cassava Project Sets Precedent For Open Access Data Sharing In Agricultural Research

Staff Writer | IPP Media | May 4, 2013

Six months after the launch of the $25.2M NEXTGEN Cassava project at Cornell University, scientists on the project have released Cassavabase, a database that promotes open access data sharing. features all phenotypic and genotypic data generated by cassava breeding programmes involved in the NEXTGEN Cassava project, and makes the data immediately and openly accessible to all users prior to publication. It is being developed by Lukas Mueller, at the Boyce Thompson Institute in Ithaca, NY, adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell.

“In the plant breeding community, data sharing can be delayed until publication, which can limit the opportunity to use the knowledge by the international plant breeding communities,” said Mueller.

The benefits of open data sharing through Cassavabase is being lauded by cassava breeders across sub-Saharan Africa, who “currently share a significant amount of cassava germplasm,” according to Peter Kulakow, plant breeder at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-Nigeria), a major contributor of data to Cassavabase.