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Plant Breeding 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Plant Breeding
Plant Breeding course online
Learn the art of successful Plant Breeding. 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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
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.
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: [email protected]
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,