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Reminder: NOVA PhD Course "Adaptation and Resilience in Plant Breeding" - Open for Applications

  • Photo: 
    Håkon Sparre

The course will take place on 11-16 Jun. 2017 in Umeå, Sweden.  Application deadline: 28 Feb. 2017.

The course is of 4 ECTS and is organised by Professor Rodomiro Ortiz, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Course information webpage

Apply here

Course Description
Genetic basis of local climatic adaptation to stressful environments. This calls for strategies to maximize yield stability, which is the ability of an ecological system to return to an equilibrium state with as little fluctuations as possible after a temporary disturbance, and resilience. Resilience refers to the ability of a system to absorb changes and persist the relationships within a system through maintaining flexibility, which requires cultivars to cope with unpredictable and varying growing conditions within one growing season through multiple strategies. Cultivars need to be able to respond flexibly in uptake and use mechanisms to fluctuating growing conditions. The course focuses on studying genetics for adaptation and resilience, and translating these abilities into breeding goals that can support the sustainable farming systems in Nordic Europe and elsewhere under future global change conditions results in the need for cultivars that enhance both yield stability as well as resilience.

The course will include 1-week of guest and teachers’ lectures as well as graduate students talks on adaptation and resilience traits and their genetics/genomics, and how to use them in plant breeding. The course will also bring the new selection methods such as genomic prediction and the use of genome-wide association for identifying genes related to both adaptation and resilience. The course will include in its syllabus –as per the lectures to be given – crossbreeding (including managing genotype-by-environment interactions), molecular breeding and other new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) for crops and trees. The course will deal with the challenges of phenotyping large populations and management of large datasets. The course will give updates on exiting developments augmenting the domain and impact of plant breeding.

Programme Outline (tbc)

  • Sunday 2017.06.11: Arrival and accommodation. Afternoon/pre-dinner guest lectures
  • Monday 2017.06.12: Introduction to adaptation and resilience in plant breeding (including model plant, crop and tree case study examples) and students’ poster presentations
  • Tuesday 2017.06.13: Genotype-by-environment interactions in plant breeding for adaptation and resilience (morning) Association genetics for elucidating inheritance of adaptation and resilience related traits (afternoon)
  • Wednesday 2017.06.14: Physiology-led breeding (morning) Genomic prediction for breeding adaptation and resilience (afternoon)
  • Thursday 2017.06.15: Excursion to Umeå Plant Science Center and talks therein by key Faculty members researching on adaptation and resilience for plant breeding
  • Friday 2017.06.16 (until noon): The use of new plant breeding techniques and epigenetics for enhancing adaptation and resilience

Main Teachers:

  • Prof. Søren K. Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science
  • Prof. Teemu Teeri, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Prof. Åsmund Bjørnstad, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
  • Researcher Morten Lillemo, NMBU
  • Researcher Sæmundur Sveinsson, Agricultural University of Iceland
  • Prof. Rodomiro Ortiz, SLU
  • Prof. Harry Wu, SLU
  • Prof. Ove Nilsson, SLU
  • Prof. Stefan Jansson, Umeå University
  • Prof. Rex Bernardo, University of Minnesota
  • Distinguished Scientist José Crossa, Intl. Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CIMMYT, México

Please find more information on the course and on how to apply here:

Published 31. October 2016 - 18:13 - Updated 23. May 2017 - 19:12