Plant Breeding

Distance Learning starts in January 2019.

This fourteen week distance learning module is designed to give those with an interest in plant breeding a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to bring a variety from a concept to market. Featured crops include: beans, peas, oats, ryegrass, clover and energy crops. We will consider all aspects of what makes a commercial plant breeding program successful. Real datasets will demonstrate the challenges a breeder faces when making selections. Students will undertake case studies to look in depth at the process of breeding a crop of their choice.

Topics covered will include:

  • Plant reproductive biology
  • Control of pollination and uses in breeding
  • Breeding systems for self and cross-pollinated plant species
  • Trait measurement and selection methods
  • Agricultural experimentation and trial design
  • Defining breeding objectives
  • Variety legislation and commercialisation
  • Marker-assisted and genome wide selection
  • Utilising diversity, mutant and biotechnology in breeding


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