Experiment, Occurrence, Location


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An experiment is a top-level activity in the EBS. Experiments are designed to create new germplasm and/or to observe the performance of existing germplasm.


Each experiment can be composed of one or more occurrences. Each occurrence is an instance of the experiment that includes some or all of the entries included in the original experiment entry list.

Experiments can include:

  • Crossing blocks

  • Nurseries to advance segregating germplasm

  • Nurseries to increase seed for fixed materials

  • Observational nurseries

  • Multi-location trials

and other kinds of activities carried out in fields, greenhouses, screen houses, growth chambers, or other environments.

In many cases, a nursery experiment would only have one occurrence whereas a trial experiment would typically have more than one occurrence. But, the system has a flexible data model that does not impose strict rules on the maximum or a minimum number of occurrences associated with different types of breeding experiments.


A location is the functional unit of operation for breeding experiments. It can include one or more occurrences that are planted together in the same planting area. Typically occurrences within a location would be managed in the same way and have the same plot size parameters, etc.

Each occurrence must be assigned to a location to be operational.

Occurrences from several different trials and nursery experiments can be mapped to the same field



Multiple possible configurations of planting areas/locations could be constructed from this field,

The pink text boxes above, such as FM-C-PA, FM-C-T, and FM-C-N can be the names of both the Location and the Planting Area. While these can be used interchangeably in practice, they do represent different concepts.

The planting area is technically a geographic area. It can be represented by a set of GPS coordinates on a map.

Meanwhile the location refers to all of the occurrences and all of the plots, inclusive of border and filler plots, that will be managed as one functional unit.

The location, therefore, represents the plots that are planted “on top of” the physical space described as the Planting Area.