CSA-30306 Advanced Crop Physiology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. PC Struik
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. PC Struik
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. PC Struik

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

Thesis Crop Physiology.


Molecular biology has made impressive strides in elucidating the molecular regulation of processes in plants, but the challenge is to understand what this means for processes in real crops as this is the level at which farmers act to produce food. Recent developments in crop physiology relating to primary processes (photosynthesis, resource capture and use), plant and crop structure (signalling, communication and organization; partitioning; quality), and plant and crop adaptation to stress are presented. Special attention will be paid to innovative phenotyping platforms, the phenotype-genotype gap, to the interactions between genotype and environment, and to the possibilities to include genetic information in crop models, for example on the basis of gene-based modelling (or QTL-based modelling). It will be demonstrated how including genetic information may contribute to model-based ideotyping, model-based explorations of ecological distribution of varieties and model-based marker-based selection.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse in quantitative terms the primary processes in crop production;
- explain the functioning of crops in relation to functional-structural relations;
- quantify genotype environment interactions;
- understand scientific approaches in which genetic information is included in crop models;
- apply in-depth crop physiological knowledge under a wide range of environmental conditions;
- use and apply plant and crop physiological knowledge for crop improvement and crop management.


- lectures and discussions on the physiological functioning of major crops under different agro-ecological conditions;
- lectures and discussions on the genotype - phenotype gap;
- working lectures in which examples of qtl-based or gene-based modelling approaches will be explained and discussed;
- group work: modelling exercises;
- group work with assignments to analyse crop development, yield formation, resource capture and quality improvement (and associated genotype x environment interactions) based on most recent literature.


- team Papers modelling based on assignments on literature (50%);
- individual Papers based on assignments on literature (50%).


Course description and literature will be provided through MyPortal.

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScI: Plant Adaptation4WD
MOAOrganic AgricultureMScA: Agroecology4WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScA: Crop Science4WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScC: Natural Resource Management4WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScG: Biomass Production and Carbon Capture4WD