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Plant Breeding 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Plant Breeding
Plant Breeding course online. Learn to breed plants successfully. This is an ideal online course for Nurserymen, Horticulturists, Plant Enthusiasts or anyone aspiring to be a Plant Breeder.
Study genetics and plant breeding techniques. Learn from our team of professional horticulturists and plant scientists, located across both Australia and the UK.
This is an excellent course providing the necessary foundation needed to understand breeding any type of plant; an opportunity to be mentored by highly trained and experienced horticulturists and an avenue for building your networking within relevant sectors of industry.
Lesson Structure: Plant Breeding BHT236
1 There are 7 lessons
- Modern Plant Breeding
- The Plant Breeding Industry
- Sources of Genetic Material: Germplasm Preservation, Botanic Gardens, Plant Breeding and Research Institutions, Wild Populations
2 Introduction to Genetics
- Cells and Genes (An Overview): Plant Cells, Chromosomes, Genes
- Linkage and Crossing Over
- DNA: Homologous Chromosomes
- Cells: Cell Components, The Cell Wall, The Nucleus
- Protein Synthesis
- Plant Genetics: Mendel’s Principles
- Terminology: Mendel’s Experiment, Linkages of Genes
3 Gamete Production, Pollination and Fertilisation in Plants
- Plant Reproduction: Phases of Plant Reproduction
- Gamete Production
- Gene Mutations
- Sources of Genetic Variation: Polyploidy, Bud Sports and Chimeras
- Male Sterility
- Effect of the Environment
- The Use of Pollination Biology in Plant Breeding: The Process of Pollination, Requirements for Successful Pollination, Cross pollination, Determining the Stage of Pollination Failure, Fertilisation, Embryo and Seedling Formation, Male and Female Recognition, Methods of Overcoming Incompatibility, Post fertilisation, Pollen Selection
- Floral Induction: Pollination, Fruit Set, Growth and Development
- Mitosis and Meiosis
- Summary of Terms
- Sexual Structures in Plants: Flower Structures, Fruit Structures, Seed Structures
4 Mono Hybrid and Dihybrid Inheritance in Plants
- Monohybrid and Dihybrid Crosses: Linkage of Genes, Crossing Over and Recombination, Crossing Over, Recombination
- Quantitative Traits
5 Systematic Botany and Floral Structures
- Systematic Botany
- Plant Morphology
- Type Specimens
- The History of Organised Botanical Nomenclature: International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, Principle of Priority, Plant and Animal Nomenclature
- Plant Taxonomy: The Binomial System, Botanical Classification, Plant Families and Species, Hybrids, Varieties and Cultivars, Changes in Names, Nomenclature of Hybrids
- Botanical Keys: How to Use a Botanical Key, Key to Plant Phyla
7 Practical Plant Breeding Techniques
- Plant Breeding Programs
- Breeding Self-Pollinated Crops: Pure-line Breeding, Mass Selection, Pedigree Breeding, Bulk Population Breeding, Backcross Breeding
- Breeding Cross-Pollinated Crops: Single Plant Selection, Mass Selection, Progeny Selection, Line Breeding, Recurrent Selection, Backcross Breeding, Induced Polyploidy
- Hybrid Seed Production - An Outline
- Hybridising Techniques - A Step-By-Step Program
- Seed Germination
- Dormancy Factors Affecting Germination: Hard Seed Covers, Chemical Inhibitors, Undeveloped Embryos, Inhibiting Seed Layers, Dormant Embryos that Respond to Chilling
8 Current Developments in Plant Genetics
- Plant Biotechnology: Genetic Engineering, DNA Markers, Somatic Hybridisation
- Plant Breeders' Rights and Trademarks: Trademarks, Patents
Learning Goals:Plant Breeding BHT236
- Describe the commercial and scientific nature of the modern plant breeding industry, on a global basis
- Describe the structure and function of genetic material
- Describe gamete production in plants.
- Explain the results of mono hybrid and dihybrid inheritance in plants.
- Investigate the role of systematic botany in horticulture.
- Explain a variety of different plant breeding techniques.
- Review current developments in plant breeding.
Practical (Set Tasks)
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
Excerpt From The Course
BREEDING SELF-POLLINATED CROPS
The genetic effect of continued self fertilisation in self-pollinated plants is to reveal the dominant
and recessive genes. As Mendel’s experiments show, heterozygosity is reduced by one half in
each generation, so that after six or seven generations of selfing, a population will consist almost
entirely of equal numbers of homozygotes. In this way, selection of characters by continued selfing
results in pure lines – these plants are said to be ‘pure breeding’ or breeding ‘true to type’.
The following methods are used to breed self-pollinated crops.
In pure-line breeding (also known as ‘single plant selection’) the new variety is made of the
progeny of a single pure line. It involves three steps:
2. Raising the self progeny of each of these over several years, preferably in different
environments. Unsuitable lines are eliminated in each generation. When the breeder can no longer
select superior lines by observation only, the third step is commenced.
3. Replicating the trials to compare the remaining selections. This is done over several seasons (at
least three years) to compare them with each other and with existing commercial varieties.
In mass selection the progeny of many pure lines are used to form the new variety. Unlike pureline
selection where the derived type consists of a single pure line, in mass selection the majority
of selected lines are likely to be retained.
It is not as rigorous as pure-line breeding – obviously inferior plants are destroyed before flowering
but overall many lines are kept and contribute to the genetic base. This gives the advantage of
retaining the best features of an original variety and avoids the extensive testing required in step 3
of pure-line breeding.
This is the most widely used method of breeding in self-pollinated plants. Superior types are
selected in successive segregating generations (as in pure-line breeding) and a record is kept of
all parent-progeny relationships. It starts with the crossing of two varieties which complement each
other with respect to one or more desirable characters. In the F2 generation a single plant
selection is made of the individuals the breeder thinks will produce the best progeny. In the F3 and
F4 generations, many loci become homozygous and family characteristics begin to appear. By the
F5 and F6 generations, most families are homozygous at most loci; hence selection with families is
no longer very effective, only between them.
Its main advantage is that the plant breeder is able to exercise his/her skill in selecting plants to a
greater degree than other self-pollinating breeding methods. A disadvantage is the limitation it has
on the amount of material one breeder can handle.
Bulk Population Breeding
In this method the F2 generation is planted out in large numbers (hundreds to thousands of
plants), harvested in bulk and the seeds sown in similar numbers the following year. This process
is repeated as many years as desired by the breeder. Natural selection reduces or eliminates
those that have poor survival value, while artificial selection is practised to rogue out obviously
It is only suitable for the commercial breeding of small grains and bean crops. It has the advantage
of avoiding the labour required in pure line and pedigree breeding.
The purpose of backcross breeding is to improve a variety by transferring a desirable characteristic
from another less desirable variety. It involves making a series of backcrosses of the inferior
(donor) variety to the superior one (recurrent parent), selecting for the desired characteristic at
At the end of backcrossing, the gene or genes being transferred are heterozygous, but the other
genes are homozygous. Selfing after the last backcross results in homozygosity for the gene pair,
producing a plant that is identical to its recurrent parent, except that it also has the desired
characteristic of the donor variety.
A successful backcross program depends on the following:
a) A satisfactory recurrent (superior) parent must exist.
b) The desired trait must be able to maintain its intensity through several backcrosses.
c) Sufficient backcrosses must be carried out to ensure the genotype of the recurrent parent is
recovered – a minimum of six backcrosses is used.
The method is popular because it gives the breeder a precise way of improving varieties that
already excel in a number of characteristics.