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As part of several projects including NSF BREAD, we have developed mobile applications for data collection and management in plant breeding and genetics.

Field Book

Field Book was developed to eliminate paper note-taking from plant breeding programs and facilitate robust data collection and rapid data access. It is a standalone program that utilizes a straightforward interface that focuses on a single entry and trait at a time. The interface is dynamic and changes based on the type of trait being collected. Data can be analyzed the same day they are collected, resulting in the ability to find and fix any mistakes made when collecting data. Field Book has been adopted by many U.S. and international breeding programs. It is the primary data collection software used by the Triticeae Coordinated Agriculture Project, the NextGen Cassava project, many universities (KSU, Cornell, UNL, etc.), and even many private companies (Syngenta, Limagrain, and Bayer). As of April 2016, more than 1100 devices around the world have an active installation of Field Book.


1KK is an app designed to analyze seed lots. Its name comes from the one thousand kernel weight that is commonly used as a selection criteria in plant breeding programs. 1KK extracts seed morphology from images captured by phone and tablet cameras. A non-parametric algorithm is used to identify individual seeds for shape measurements. Reference circles of known size included on the background translate pixel measurements of seeds to actual size. Each individual seed length, width, and area are determined using the same algorithm implemented in SmartGrain. Data can be exported in a sample summary form and on a per-object basis. For measurement of thousand kernel weight, the total number of seeds are counted and divided by the total weight. For weight measurements, the app is compatible with Elane USB scales (1g resolution).


Inventory is an app designed to assist with rapid inventory and weighing of seed stocks. Inventory uses an Elane USB Scale to quickly weigh and categorize samples. In addition to Box and Sample ID, a timestamp and the name of the inventory person are also collected. Data is exported to a text file ready to be uploaded to a database.


Coordinate is a unified data collection app based on defining templates and then collecting data in grids created from those templates. Two templates are included by default: Seed Tray and DNA Plate. There are many customizations available when defining a new template including custom fields for grid metadata collection (e.g. Person, Date, etc.); the naming for rows and columns can be alphabetic or numeric; and rows, columns, or random cells can be excluded from data collection. All collected data is saved internally to the database and grids can be reloaded to continue collecting data or deleted if not needed.