The practical consideration of genetic theory and biological limitations to improving plant populations and developing cultivars will be discussed. Current and emerging breeding methodologies and sources of variation used to achieve plant breeding goals will be examined through lectures, paper discussion, site visits and invited talks.
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At the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Understand pollination biology as it relates to plant breeding methods
Understand the concept of genotype x environment interaction, its impact on plant breeding programs, and how to manage it
Determine breeding methods appropriate for different plant species and traits
Identify the regulations surrounding plant breeding, seed production, and variety development
Understand priorities of a private breeding program
Understand the theory and application of molecular markers in plant breeding
Critically analyze scientific articles related to plant breeding methods and approaches
Understand and perform calculations related to plant population dynamics
Communicate aspects of plant breeding theory and practice to your peers
- To educate students in applying genetic techniques, statistical methods, breeding principles and methods to efficiently create and advance populations of plants from which there is a high probability of selecting superior cultivars or hybrids.
- To provide exposure to public and/or private breeding programs.
- To provide opportunities for continued learning, critical questioning, discussion of research findings, communication and development of personal and team work skills.
The course is designed to enhance the students’ ability to identify, develop, evaluate, and utilize breeding populations as improved germplasm and a source of new, improved cultivars. As a graduate-level course in plant breeding, it is assumed that students have a basic working knowledge of plant breeding principles, Mendelian genetics, classical evolutionary theory, quantitative genetics, agronomy, plant biology, statistics, and plant pathology.
Course topics (not necessarily in order):
- History of Plant Breeding, Modes of Reproduction and Modifications (CMS, GMS, SI, CHA)
- Mendelian Genetics and beyond (inheritance, linkage, epistasis, polyploidy, pleiotropy)
- Overview of Breeding Methods and Objectives
- Application of Molecular Tools to plant breeding
- Field trip*
- Genotype x Environment Interaction (models and software)
- Oral Mid-term Examination
- Biochemistry and breeding for Value-Added Traits
- Breeding for Abiotic Stresses (adaptation)
- Breeding of new, emerging, and unique crops
- Breeding for Biotic Stresses (resistance to pests and diseases)
- Pedigreed seed production, QMS, IP/contract production
*Field trip: Place and Date TBD
There are no labs or seminars scheduled for this course.
Course Assignments and Tests:
|Assignment or Test
|Contribution to Final Mark
|Learning Outcomes Assessed
Class participation during lectures and paper discussion
|1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
|Mid-term oral exam
1, 2, 3, 6
Written report on a private breeding program
Plant breeding term paper
|1, 2, 3, 4, 6
There is no final examination scheduled for this course.
None – class notes will be provided on CourseLink for each lecture.
- Fehr, W.R. 1987. Principles of Cultivar Development, Vol. 1 and 2, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987
- Poehlman and Sleper. 1995. Breeding Field Crops, 5th edition, Wiley-Blackwell
- Oil Crops. 2010. Eds. J. Vollmann and I. Rajcan, Handbook of Plant Breeding, Vol. 4, Springer, Springer, Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York
- Principles of plant breeding. 1999. 2nd ed. Allard, R. W. (Robert Wayne), 1919-2003. J. Wiley, New York
All students are expected to read and prepare for weekly discussion of primary journal articles as their participation will be assessed weekly for a cumulative participation mark of 25%.
There will be a penalty for late submission of work at 10% of the grade for the assignment for each day of delay, except in cases of illness or emergency that will have to be documented.
Course Policy on Group Work:
There are no group assignments.
Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:
Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.
Other Course Information:
When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:
- For Graduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/graduate-calendar/
- For Undergraduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/undergraduate-calendar/
- For Diploma Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/associate-diploma/
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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.
The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:
- For Graduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/graduate-calendar/general-regulations/academic-misconduct/
- For Undergraduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/undergraduate-calendar/undergraduate-degree-regulations-procedures/academic-misconduct/
- For Diploma Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/associate-diploma/associate-diploma-regulations-procedures/academic-misconduct/
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