PBR-32302 Breeding for Abiotic Stress Tolerance


Credits 2.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Knowledge clip0
E-learning material0
Course coordinator(s)dr. CG van der Linden
Lecturer(s)dr. CG van der Linden
Examiner(s)dr. CG van der Linden

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

It is necessary to have followed an online course at Wageningen University before, or the special Onboarding course for distance learning. To get access to the Onboarding course, send an email to: onboarding.wur@wur.nl.

Continuation courses:

The DL-MSc-specializations have a fixed schedule during the pilot-phase


Note 1: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with PBR-30306 Breeding for Resistance and Quality.

Note 2: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See Academic Year.(http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendar-Academic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses.
Note 3: The period mentioned below is the period in which this course starts. For the exact academic weeks see the courseplanning on www.wur.eu/schedule.
Note 4: This course is offered online and it takes about 20 hours to complete the weekly task. There are assignments with deadlines and non-synchronous interaction with teachers and fellow students.  An online exam is offered at the end of the course. 
Note 5: This is an online course, but it can also be followed by on-campus students after consultation of the course coordinator.
Note 6: Because of overlap between this online course and on-campus courses, it is not possible to combine this course with PBR30306 Breeding for Stress Tolerance and Quality in your study program to obtain a minimum amount of credits.

Abiotic stress is the stress imposed on plants by the non-living environment. Abiotic stress is responsible for huge yield losses in crops around the world. In this course we will assess the impact that abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, nutrient deficiency) have on agricultural production, and provide you with knowledge and tools for successful breeding for abiotic stress tolerance. The following questions will be addressed: 

- what can agriculture do to minimize yield losses now and in a future where the climate changes, and input will be further restricted?
- what are the requirements for successful breeding for abiotic stress tolerance?
- how does a plant respond to abiotic stress, and which physiological and molecular mechanisms are important?
- which traits contribute to stress tolerance, how can these be measured and used for selection?
- how do modern genomics techniques contribute to abiotic stress tolerance breeding?

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to:
- have acquired knowledge on how agriculture, crops and individual plants are affected by abiotic stress;
- have learned about main mechanisms that help plants to cope with abiotic stress;
- know about tools that can be used to monitor and understand the response and tolerance of plants to different abiotic stresses;
- be able to integrate the above knowledge for the design of a sensible breeding strategy for the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance in target crops.


Online lectures with video clips on specific subjects, short assignments.


The exam is an online remotely proctored exam, where the student should provide a suitable computer and room.


Available through the course website.

Compulsory for: MPSDLMaster Spec. Plant Breeding DL (2020)MSc1DL