PBR-22303 Plant Breeding


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JC Goud
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JC Goud
dr. MJW Jeuken
Examiner(s)dr. MJW Jeuken
dr. ir. JC Goud

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Mendelian genetics as taught in GEN-11806, textbook Griffiths [et al.], An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 11th ed.: Chapters 1, 2, 3 (single gene inheritance, Mendel’s laws), 4 (mapping by recombination), 6 (digenic segregation patterns), 17 (large-scale chromosomal changes) and 19 (inheritance of complex traits, heritability).

Continuation courses:

PBR-30306 Breeding for Stress Tolerance and Quality and PBR-30806 Design of Plant Breeding Programmes.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with PBR-22803 Principles of Plant Breeding (online).

This course introduces students to key principles of plant breeding. Plant breeding is the science driven creative process of changing the traits of plants in order to develop new plant varieties. Several essential approaches and tools used in the process are discussed: different modes of reproduction, selection methods, the production of hybrid cultivars and mutation breeding. For an effective selection programme one should distinguish genotype from phenotype, since only the genotypic differences are relevant to genetically improve the crop.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain basic concepts and principles in plant breeding;
- understand the advantages and limitations of plant breeding selection programmes;
- choose the appropriate selection method to breed for (certain combinations of) traits in a particular crop;
- apply breeding methods, taking into account the reproduction mode of the crop of interest;
- analyse observations to separate genetic and non-genetic components of variation;
- understand the implications of chimerism in mutants.


- Self-study of a series of five e-learning modules that explain and illustrate the principles of Plant Breeding.
- Preparing for (!) and attending lectures/tutorials/computer practicums; during the tutorials and practicums, the student will practice elements of the e-learning modules.


The course is examined by a closed-book computer examination, consisting of about 15 questions that are a mix and combination of multiple choice, multiple answer, and open questions requiring relatively short answers and calculations. For the practicums no marks are given, but their matter is covered by questions in the examination.


All information will be made available in the Learning environment, so an extra study book is not necessary.
For background information we recommend the books: Bernardo (2014) Essentials of Plant Breeding, ISBN 9780972072427; or Acquaah (2012) Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, 2nd ed., ISBN 9780470664759.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBSc1MO
Restricted Optional for: MPSPlant SciencesMScD: Spec. D - Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources1MO, 4MO
MPBPlant BiotechnologyMScC: Spec. C - Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology1MO, 4MO
Restricted Optional for: WUEPSBSc Minor Experimental Plant Sciences4MO
WUPBTBSc Minor Plant Biotechnology1MO
WUPBRBSc Minor Plant Breeding4MO