Course code BIO248

BIO248 Plant Breeding

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Morten Lillemo
Teachers: Muath Alsheikh-Yousef, Min Lin, Cathrine Brekke, Gunnar Klemetsdal, Hans Magnus Gjøen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2020-2021
Preferential right:
BSc Plant Sciences bachelor
Course contents:
The course gives an introduction to applied genetics and the most commonly used methods in animal and plant breeding, with emphasis and specialization in plant breeding. The course contains a common part that is taught together with HFA200. This part of the course covers topics that are common to plant and animal breeding: quantitative genetics, heritability and calculation of breeding values based on pedigrees and genomic data. The specializaiton part of the course will give an ind-depth coverage of topics that are specific to plant breeding: Plant breeding methodologies and breeding schemes for cross-pollinating, self-pollinating and clonally propagated crops, hybrid breeding, breeding for disease resistance, climate adaptation and quality, use of molecular markers, genome information, precision phenotyping and biotechnological methods in plant breeding. 
Learning outcome:

After completion of the course the students should have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in the form of knowledge, skills and general competence.


Can present and explain the basic principles for achieving genetic gains in plant and animal breeding

Can explain how the reproductive system in a species influences the choice of breeding scheme and selection methods.

Can describe typical breeding schemes for selfpollinated, crosspollinated and clonally propagated crops and breeding of hybrid cultivars.

Can give examples of how the genetics and heritability of different traits (disease resistance, stress tolerance, quality, yield, etc.) influence the choice of selection methods.

Can explain the basic principles behind use of molecular markers as selection tools.

Can give examples of how new genetic variation can be obtained in a breeding program by crossing, mutation breeding and use of genetic transformation and gene editing.

Knowledge about the approval process and intellectual property rights of new plant cultivars.


The students can use genetic knowledge to define breeding goals and design effective breeding schemes for achieving genetic improvement of selected traits in a chosen plant species.

The students can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different selection methods and how new technologies can be integrated with traditional methods to achieve more effective plant breeding.

The students can work by their own and in groups to obtain new knowledge

The students can find and judge different sources of scientific information.

General competence

The students can present and argue for own opinions in scientific discussions about plant breeding.

Learning activities:
Lectures. Practicals with submission of lab reports. Group work with written assignment on the design of breeding scheme for a chosen species that is presented orally. Self-study.
Teaching support:
Canvas. Discussions during practicals and report writing.
Rex Bernardo (2014): Essentials of Plant Breeding, Stemma Press.  Lecture notes and additional literature shared during the course. 
BIO120 Genetics, or similar basic level course in genetics. 
Recommended prerequisites:
STAT100, introductory statistics or similar.
Mandatory activity:
Practicals with written reports, assignments and group discussions.
Overall assessment: 3 hour written exam 50% + portfolio assessment (lab reports and project assignment) 50% = one final grade, A-F. All parts must be passed. 
Nominal workload:
250 h
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
BIO245 (5 credits)
Type of course:

Lectures: ca 50 hours

Practicals: ca 20 hours

Selvf-study, journal writing and assignments: ca 180 hours

External examiner used in grading
Allowed examination aids: B1 Calculator handed out, no other aids
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades