PPH-90306 Trends in Plant Reproduction Biology: from Flowers to Seeds


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. GH Immink
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. GH Immink
prof. dr. ir. GC Angenent
dr. M Bemer
Examiner(s)prof. dr. GH Immink

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

Students should have followed at least one of the following courses: ABG-30306, GEN-30306, MOB-30806, MOB-31303, MOB-31812,  PBR-21803,  PPH-30306, PPH-30806, or VIR-30306. In case a student doesn't fulfill these criteria, but would like to join, please contact the course coordinator.

Assumed knowledge on:

A good basic knowledge of molecular biology and genomics is essential. Affinity with plant reproduction and development.

Continuation courses:

MSc thesis.


The evolutionary success and enormous diversity among flowering plants is mainly the result of the sexual reproduction process, which starts with flowering and results in the formation of fruits and seeds. This key process is under tight genetic and molecular control, but is also adapted to the environment. How such a conserved process can show flexibility remains an intriguing question. In this advanced course the latest breakthroughs and trends in plant reproduction research will be discussed with a focus on molecular and genetic mechanisms and the impact of 'omics' - technologies. Included topics:
- flowering time control;
- flower organ formation;
- gametophyte development and fertilization;
- fruit set;
- seed development.
Evolutionary aspects and natural variation will be topics discussed in relation to the above mentioned biological processes. Students will not only get insight in the complex molecular and genetic networks underlying plant reproduction, but will also get acquainted with writing of a research proposal, how to design a well-thought and focused research question, and how to address this research question. Note that this course has a maximum number of students.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and describe the latest trends in plant reproduction research;
- translate fundamental research outcomes into plant breeding practice;
- critically read and evaluate a scientific paper;
- design a well-thought, realistic and focussed research question;
- write and present a research proposal on a selected biological topic.


- lectures;
- reading and discussing scientific research papers;
- writing of a scientific project proposal.


- written proposal and presentation of that proposal (1/2);
- written test with mainly open questions (1/2).


Recent review and in-depth research papers on the topics of the course, lecture slides.