Operationalising a breeding management system for tea tree

Southern Cross University

  • Project code: PRJ-012032

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, September 30, 2019

  • Project completion date: Sunday, May 31, 2020

  • National Priority: TTO-Improving supply


A BMS is a database linked with computational functionality to support operational activities and genetic evaluation. This project is required to scope system and training requirements for the TTBP, and test a BMS in a pilot project, so that the system is operational by February 2020.
A new integrated BMS is necessary to realise the expected benefits from the rolling front population management scheme adopted in TTBP II (July 2017 onwards). Presently, the TTBP uses an in-house database to store data (CropStore), but this has no computational functionality to support operations or for genetic evaluation. Therefore, these functions are carried out manually, in a series of complex, difficult to repeat accurately, time consuming analyses. As the complexity of the rolling front program grows, due to the need to manage multiple overlapping generations, a more efficient and effective data management and genetic evaluation system is required to make the anticipated progress (genetic gain per unit time). Without such a system, the viability of the breeding strategy may become questionable.
This project will evaluate Treeplan, a BMS developed specifically to meet the demands of a rolling front breeding program, and the breeding strategies and genetic systems applicable to trees (http://www.stba.com.au/page/treeplan). Treeplan has a history of development and use over 25 years by a number of major breeding programs around the world for data storage, management of breeding resources, and the genetic evaluation of tens of thousands of trees, characterised by millions of data points.


Tea Tree Oil

Research Organisation

Southern Cross University

Objective Summary

The objective is to equip the breeding program with a BMS that will allow the realisation of the potential benefits of the proposed breeding strategy and an automated genetic evaluation computational pipeline by February 2020. Having a BMS operational by this time will allow data from the CRC-Project on clones to be used in updated selections for the October 2020 crossing program.
The ability to provide complete transparency, reusability and fidelity of analytical methods in an automated analytical pipeline is a key advantage and defining feature of Treeplan. This will be built and tested during the pilot study. The efficiencies and time savings for data management and analysis are critical to extracting full value from the TTBP II, as the timely use of all available measurement data is key to maximising benefit from a rolling front strategy. The capacity to run, store, then reproducibly rerun the same analysis but including newly acquired measurement data, along with data used in earlier estimates of breeding values, is critical to maximising genetic gain. For tea tree, with the current plan, this necessitates a rerun at a minimum of every 2 years. These analyses are time critical because without up to date breeding values estimates, selections must be made without benefit of improved breeding value accuracy, or delayed, with both options having the potential for reducing genetic gain that might otherwise have been made.