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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
Here is a list of the most often asked FAQ’s.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at ADL, our students are our priority – we treat everyone as a unique individual.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, as each module has been written by highly qualified industry professionals. The content of the material is presented in such a way that text books are not required. However, if you require additional reading your tutor will be able to supply a list.
Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (eg. become sick, go on holidays, have a baby, move house, etc)
A. It’s OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. There is no maximum age limit. We do however, have a minimum age limit of 18 years. Below that age parental consent would be required.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are revised and updated on a rotation system.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. Yes. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details 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. When can I enrol/start?
A. You may enrol and start at any time of the year – it’s all self- paced.
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. How long do I have to complete the course?
A. You complete the course at any time that is convenient for you.
Q. Completing a 100 hour module – how long will it take?
A. For some students a 100 hour module will take approximately to 3- 6 months to complete. Others take less time and some even longer.
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.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. You may elect to undertake a Project (set by your tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Projects are completed from your home and can usually take a couple of weeks to complete.
Q. If my assignment is not up to standard is there an opportunity to resubmit my work?
A. Yes –
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.
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.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would be awarded a Certificate endorsed by TQUK (Training Qualifications, UK), providing you complete all assignments and the exam. If you just want to complete only the assignments and not sit for the exam or finish a Project, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications available please click 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. You choose modules that you think will help you in achieving your goal.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of all courses and providing all assignments and exam requirements have been met, you will receive your Award and a Transcript.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We appoint Tutors and require that they must be currently active in their industry, with at least 5 years’ experience in their chosen profession.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes – you have unlimited access to your tutor via email through our Online Classroom. You can always leave a message with ADL requesting your tutor to contact you. You decide on how much or how little contact you wish to have.
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.,