BIO248 Plant Breeding

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Morten Lillemo

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:250 h

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel .

About this course

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.

  • 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.
  • Canvas. Discussions during practicals and report writing.
  • BIO120 Genetics, or similar basic level course in genetics.
  • 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.

  • External examiner used in grading
  • Practicals with written reports, assignments and group discussions.
  • Lectures: ca 50 hours

    Practicals: ca 20 hours

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

  • BSc Plant Sciences bachelor
  • BIO245 (5 credits)
  • Special requirements in Science