Computational biology

The integration of the latest advances in data science alongside expertise in plant breeding, agronomy and farming systems is key to unlocking a step-change improvement in UK crop production.

NIAB's vision is to lead a new revolution in agri-data, not only in the increased application of bioinformatics for the analysis of sequence data, but also through the application of scientific computing and software development to offer innovative solutions and tools to the scientific community.

The implementation and deployment of novel computational methods for the analysis of crop data is one of the priority areas of development at NIAB. We are experts in the implementation of bioinformatics pipelines for gene annotation and variant analysis of vast datasets for large polyploid genomes, such as the hexaploid modern wheat and the octaploid strawberry. The sources and diversity of data types will continue to increase as devices to generate and collect data become essential tools in life-sciences research.

Big data

NIAB is working alongside Rothamsted ResearchUniversity of Reading and SRUC as a partner in AgriMetrics - a centre for agricultural informatics and sustainability metrics, established under the Government's AgriTech Strategy. Its development will support innovation in agricultural research and its translation to improve the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of UK agri-food productions systems. The integration of large datasets at this unprecendented scale will bring together resources from a diversity of areas including crop breeding, agronomy and farming systems. This will enable opportunities for the UK food sector to lead in and benefit from the new revolution in agricultural informatics.