GEN-20806 Plant Biotechnology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion4
Practical intensively supervised26
Project learning16
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. MGM Aarts
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. HJ Bouwmeester
prof. dr. ir. MGM Aarts
dr. ir. A Schots
dr. ir. MHAJ Joosten
dr. ir. AW van Heusden
DR van Raaij
prof. dr. HGJ Gremmen
dr. LB Westerhof
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MGM Aarts

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Cell Biolology I, General Genetics


This course builds upon Cell Biology I (CBI-10306), the practical Biological Chemistry (BIC-10306) and the general tutorials Introduction Plant Sciences (NEM-10306) and Orientation in Plant Sciences I and II (CWE-11306/NEM-10806). It is complementary with Plant Breeding (PBR-20806) and is a preparation for future courses in the BSc 2/3 and MSc wherein Plant Molecular Biology plays a key role. During the course lectures will be given to introduce various aspects of Plant Biotechnology. The first set of lectures outlines the techniques used in Plant Biotechnology and in the second set, specific examples of application of these techniques and the effects on science and society are provided. Guest lectures will be provided on Entrepreneurship in Plant Biotechnology. During the course a plant biotech company will be visited. Various laboratory techniques will be taught during hands-on practicals, to perform plant transformation and analysis of transformants. Bioinformatic approaches supporting plant biotechnology will be demonstrated and practiced in a computer workshop. Throughout the course period, students will work on an assignment focusing on one particular plant biotechnology case, which requires searching for and understanding of recent scientific literature. The results of this case study will be presented at the end of the course.

Learning outcomes:

The student is expected to gain theoretical knowledge on the plant biotechnology and acquired practical skills in basic plant biotechnology techniques.
This comprises knowledge on:
- isolation of genes and transfer to plants, based on general understanding of gene structure and expression;
- expression of genes and ways to regulate this;
- the molecular biology of fundamental processes in plant cells;
- the complexity of cell metabolism and the consequence for genetic modification of plant metabolism;
- the application of relevant laboratory techniques for gene isolation, plant transformation and analysis of gene expression patterns in transgenic plants;
- the (im)possibilities of plant biotechnology applications from a technical and a societal point of view.


1. lectures;
2. laboratory and bioinformatics practical training;
3. case study;
4. excursion.


The final mark will consist of the following elements:
- PC exam;
- practical reports;
- assignment report and presentation.


For this course the book Plant Biotechnology: the genetic manipulation of plants (2nd edition, by Slater, Scott and Fowler, ISBN 978-0-19-928261-6) will be used. This book will be available for purchase at the WUR Shop.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBScA: Plant Genomics and Health2MO
Restricted Optional for: MPBPlant BiotechnologyMSc2MO
Compulsory for: WUEPSBSc Minor Experimental Plant Sciences2MO
WUPBTBSc Minor Plant Biotechnology2MO