PBR-31306 Bioresources


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LM Trindade
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. WJM Lommen
dr. ir. LM Trindade
prof. dr. RD Hall
Examiner(s)dr. ir. LM Trindade
prof. dr. RD Hall
dr. ir. WJM Lommen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BCT-23806 or PPH-10806 or MIB-20306, MOB-20306.

Continuation courses:

PBR-37306, PBR-30306, CSA-30306.


This course deals with recent developments in the agronomy of biomass production, methods for classical and marker-assisted plant breeding, and metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathways. There will be special attention for multi-purpose crops such as hemp, potato, sugar beet, maize, chicory and miscanthus. Agronomic criteria for best suitable crops will be analysed at the level of the individual crop, the farming system and the region, and this will be viewed in the light of their ecological footprint. Several aspects of classical and molecular breeding for quality of biobased (dedicated) crops will be explained and discussed. Strategies for characterization of genes and metabolic pathways leading to high value compounds will be discussed.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- quantitatively analyze productivity of biomass crops, ecological sustainability and yields of the different crop components;
- explain the principles of on-farm conservation and on-farm pre-processing of biomass;
- understand the basics of breeding for quality of biomass and development of multi-purpose crops;
- understand the basics of the metabolic pathways leading to the most important bio-resource components and principles of metabolic engineering.


During a lecture, the lecturers presents information and the students listen, make notes and can ask questions. The transfer of knowledge partially takes place through contact hours (the lecture) and partially through written study material or other learning resources. The lecturer can increase the effectiveness of the lecture by activating students - by asking questions or by giving short assignments and feedback during the lecture.
The principle of this teaching method is that students actively study the subject matter, either individually or in a small group in a class room. Students exercise with the knowledge, or learn how to apply this knowledge. The tutorials of this course will take place in a computer room.
Case study
Students (try to) solve a case study. Students apply earlier acquired knowledge and search for, or generate, new knowledge that will be applied. They do this by addressing social and/or scientific problems in groups. The problems have to be complex enough to force students to allocate tasks (and roles) in order to be able to address the problem. The group process (learning to work together) will form a part of the learning outcomes of the course but understand, apply, analyse and evaluate are the main learning outcomes . The lecturer is only present for a limited amount of time during learning activities of the students, including the group work. Group work is alternated with performing individual tasks. The group delivers a final product (a written report and a presentation), which significantly weights in the assessment. Additionally, the students individual contribution to the group work will be evaluated by asking the group to evaluate each of the members.


written exam (50%);
essay on specific case study (50%).
To pass the course a minimum grade of 5.5 for each element is required.


- Plant Physiology: Biology of Plants, (Evert and Eichhorn, eds), 8th edition: Chapter 2, Chapter 3, pp 38- 62, Chapter 4, Chapter 10.
- Plant Breeding: Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding (Acquaah, ed) chapters 1 and 2; and Introduction to Genetic analysis (Griffiths, Wessler, Carroll and Doebley, eds) chapter 2, 3, 4 and 6.
- Agronomy: Module 2 of the PAME website, which is a module from the 1st block (Principles of Crop Ecology) of the course CSA10806 Introduction Quantitative Agroecology (co-ordinator Lammert Bastiaanse, teacher Gerrie van de Ven). The PAME website is accessible at http://www.pame.wur.nl (click on XS2ALL, then access module 2).

Restricted Optional for: MBSBiobased SciencesMScA: Biomass Production and Carbon Capture2MO
Compulsory for: WUBBSBSc Minor Biobased Sciences2MO