PBR-30806 Design of Plant Breeding Programmes


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work6
Excursion (one day)8
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. AB Bonnema
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AB Bonnema
dr. ir. CA Maliepaard
dr. ir. RE Niks
prof. dr. E Lammerts van Bueren
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AB Bonnema

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

PBR-21803 Plant Breeding 2 or PBR-30306 Breeding for Quality and Resistance.


This course builds on Plant Breeding 2 (PBR-21803) or the plant breeding part of Fundamentals of Plant Breeding, and on Breeding for Quality and Resistance (PBR-30306) and is part of the core of the specialization Plant Breeding and Biodiversity. It consists of lectures, an excursion to two breeding companies, a group assignment to design a breeding program and plenary presentations of proposals and breeding programs by students.
In short, the overarching teaching goal is to improve your skill to take design decisions, and to justify and evaluate these in a systematic manner.
In the theoretical part several topics are presented and discussed that are typical for the choices a breeder has to make, like choice of parents, type and size of populations, change in allele frequencies by selection, effect of crop type on breeding program, etc. In addition the practice of some breeding programs of important crops as representatives of different crop types are presented and discussed.
Students will evaluate aspects of breeding programs by filling out a matrix and use this to choose a crop. In the group assignment a small group of students will design a breeding program for the chosen crop. To this end detailed theoretical and practical aspects of plant breeding are taken into account and combined with some economic, social and environmental aspects. The designed breeding program is presented orally and in a report.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in a design study for a breeding program;
- understand structure and connections between breeding methods, techniques and breeding goals;
- select parameters (parental choice, breeding strategy, population genetics, selection methods, traits of interest) that are crucial for successful practical breeding;
- reflect on breeding methods and their presuppositions; question, adjust and estimate their implications;
- set up a breeding program for a specific crop (all along the chain from defining the specific breeding goal(s) until marketing the newly developed variety);
- justify the choices made in the breeding program;
- generate both a written work plan and final report of the breeding program;
- present the work plan and final breeding plan plenary.


- lectures;
- self-study;
- group assignment to design a breeding program;
- oral presentations;
- excursion to 1 or 2 breeding companies.


The final mark will consist of the following elements:
- evaluation of the matrix with motivation crop choice 10% (individual);
- quality of the proposal (15%);
- quality of the report (45%);
- quality of the final presentation and discussions 10%;
- judgement of the tutor on the group work 5%;
- oral examination on group assignment (breeding program)15% (individual assessment).


PowerPoint presentations and additional documention will be available at the start of the course and electronically via Blackboard.

Restricted Optional for: MPSPlant SciencesMScD: Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources6WD