AVATARS – Advanced Virtuality and AugmenTed Reality AppRoaches in Seeds to Seeds – is a BMBF-funded project with 5 years of funding started in June 2019.
The AVATARS project aims to enhance crop improvement by utilizing advanced molecular omics analyses and high-throughput phenotyping. To address the challenges posed by the increasing volume and complexity of data, novel analysis tools and approaches are being developed. This interdisciplinary project focuses on the seed formation of Brassica napus, also known as rapeseed or canola, investigating genetic and environmental influences on seed quality using deep learning methods. Samples are taken during significant stages of seed development. The cultivation of rapeseed occurs both in the field and under controlled field-like conditions within the Phenosphere. By employing virtual reality and augmented reality, researchers visualize and explore multidimensional data in innovative ways, making them more accessible and enabling more efficient analyses. The project involves academic and industrial partners with expertise in various fields, collaborating to tackle these challenges and integrate data from multiple sources. By developing a time-resolved 3D seed model and utilizing advanced technologies, such as high-resolution MRI and histological data, the project aims to map complex omics datasets onto gene regulatory and metabolic networks for detailed analyses and intuitive visualization. The acquired data is curated and managed in a centralized infrastructure, facilitating efficient access and integration with other large datasets. The AVATARS project also establishes connections with previous projects, ensuring the integration and utilization of valuable existing resources.