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
The students are requested to bring a poster on their PhD project. The students will receive literature before the start in order to prepare their lectures.
- Understanding marker assisted selection and association genetics
- Understanding the principles of genomic selection and prediction
- Knowledge about the genome editing technologies
- Be able to design a breeding program for a specific crop or tree species and target trait (adaptation or resilience)
- Be able to identify required information in order to carry out a crop or tree breeding project to enhance adaptation and resilience
- Be able to evaluate feasibility of crop or tree breeding for a given adaptation or resilience trait
- Be able to suggest critical measures to reach the goal
Students will earn their credits by presenting a poster of their project on day 1 and by preparing and giving a Student Lecture exploring relevant methods and principles taught on the course.
The course is based on lectures by teachers and students, and Q&A at plenum. It will include a visit to a Center of Excellence that engages in plant genetics, genomics and breeding research, which are relevant to the course.
- 20 hours seminar by "teachers"
- 40 hours lecture based on case study
- 50 hours independent pre-course work (reading given literature and poster preparation)
- 4 hours other poster presentation
- 6 hours other visit to Umeå Plant Science Center
- Total: 120 hours
The course is intended for PhD-students with basic knowledge of plant breeding and genetics, crop science and biotechnology. Students that have a breeding aspect in their PhD-project will get priority.
Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.
NOVA does no longer support accommodation for any students attending NOVA PhD courses. Accommodation for all students and meals for non-NOVA students are handled / charged separately by the course organisation.