Innovations in plant breeding, high-throughput genotyping and seed health

June 24th 2021, 3PM CET/9AM EST

In this webinar, 3 experts will discuss trends and innovations in genotyping hardware, software and processes for applications in rapid breeding programs, and seed QC.

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This webinar is hosted by Global Engage, with speakers representing Bejo Seeds and UgenTec.


Ralf Hooiveld

Implementation Team Lead, Marker Technology & Genomics, Bejo Seeds


Wilfried Jonkers

Seed Technology and Phytopathology Researcher, Bejo Seeds

bejo_herlien | ROND |

Herlien Declerck

Product Owner Genotyping and AgBio, UgenTec, Inc.

Guest Speaker 1 - Ralf Hooiveld - Current trends in high-throughput genotyping: how do we deal with increasing genotyping demand?

Guest Speaker 2 - Wilfried Jonkers - qPCR in seed health: a QC-driven approach  

UgenTec speaker – Herlien Declerck - Accelerating high-throughput genotyping with AI


Across breeding programs, demand for genotyping is increasing. Only through smart automation with hardware and software will we cope with tomorrow's throughput and requirements.

Bejo Seeds
What you'll learn

Innovations in high-throughput genotyping & seed health

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To start off the webinar, Ralf Hooiveld will discuss current trends in high-throughput genotyping, focusing on how to address bottlenecks with increasing plant breeding and genotyping demand.

The second part of the webinar will focus on seed health and how qPCR is adopted to ensure QC in seed screening. Wilfried Jonkers will introduce a case study for rapid testing for Xanthomonas campestris pathogens.

Our webinar's final topic is centered around the role A.I. plays in accelerating high-throughput genotyping. Herlien Declerck will introduce UgenTec's FastFinder Genotyper software, and how labs can benefit.

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Topic 1 - Current Trends in high-throughput genotyping: how do we deal with increasing genotyping demand?

Ralf Hooiveld obtained his master’s degree in molecular biology and phytopathology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Ralf has 15 years of experience with BEJO Seeds as a researcher at the group Marker Technology and Genomics and is implementation team leader responsible for the High-Throughput Genotyping programs and projects.

Over the past few years, the demand for genotyping in plant breeding has rapidly increased. Automation in both genotyping hardware and software has become essential to deal with demand increase and process at high throughput while ensuring quality, project turnaround times and resource efficiency. This talk gives a view on the hurdles and challenges and how the Marker Technology and Genomics group addresses them.



Topic 2 – qPCR in seed health: a QC-driven approach  

Dr. Wilfried Jonkers obtained his PhD in phytopathology at the University of Amsterdam, where he specialized in molecular biology and fungal genetics. He continued his career in fundamental research in the US and the UK on fungal growth and on the mechanisms of infection. In 2016 Dr. Jonkers joined Bejo Seeds as a researcher in seed pathology, where he investigates and develops molecular detection methods for pathogens that affect seed health.


Xanthomonas campestris is a bacterial species that causes a variety of plant diseases of cruciferous crops and can result in devastating losses of yield and quality.

In order to rapidly identify if a Brassica seed lot is infected with the seed pathogens Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris or Xanthomonas campestris pv. raphani rapid automated screening needs to be put in place. With a qPCR based workflow, automation is required to allow for rapid throughput. AI-based software can automatically call the curves, calculate the Cq-values and determine the seed lot quality - combined with quality control registration of the multiplex PCR.



Topic 3 - Accelerating high-throughput genotyping with AI

Herlien Declerck holds a master's degree in Biomechanics Engineering and builds on medical device product management experience at Materialise and later IMEC (research in nanoelectronics and digital technologies), where she was Business Development Manager Life Sciences. At UgenTec, she’s responsible for requirements, design, roadmap and projects for AgBio genotyping applications.


In this brief overview, UgenTec will introduce their FastFinder Genotyper software. Genotyper allows plant and animal breeding studies to automate their qPCR and end-point PCR programs, standardizing calling and interpretation, ensuring traceability, and optimizing accuracy of genotype calls while minimizing manual intervention and data review.