YPS-21806 Fundamentals of Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology and Entomology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion8
Practical intensively supervised40
Project learning5
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. PJGM de Wit
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. HJ van Eck
dr. G Smant
dr. ir. JWM van Lent
prof. dr. ir. JJA van Loon
prof. dr. ir. PJGM de Wit
dr. ir. CA Maliepaard
dr. ir. RE Niks
Examiner(s)prof. dr. RGF Visser
prof. dr. ir. PJGM de Wit

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:



This course is introductory to plant breeding, plant pathology and entomology in its broadest sense. Through lectures, practical training and excursions the students will become familiar with these scientific domains. The various subjects will be illustrated with examples from current practice in plant breeding, plant pathology and entomology. The focus in this course will be on the setup of different stages in breeding programs and on insight into the biology and population dynamics of plant pathogens and insects.

Learning outcomes:

After having completed this course the student is expected to:
- understand and be able to describe the general procedures of plant breeding programs;
- be able to choose the appropriate breeding strategy depending on the mode of reproduction of the crop species (autogamy, allogamy and vegetative propagation);
- be able to explain the specific breeding requirements for hybrid varieties;
- describe the biology of plant-pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes, plant-feeding insects and their natural enemies and to specify differences (molecularly and ecologically) between all groups, with respect to classification, reproduction and ploidy level, growth and development, morphology and dispersal;
- understand the life cycles of plant-pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes and arthropod pests in relation to the growth of the host plant(s), in order to be able to objectively judge on the possible positive and negative effects of control measures;
- name one or several possible causes for symptoms and the origin of the causal agent on plants, based on the presence or absence of macroscopic and microscopic structures;
- give examples of the most important diseases, or arthropod pest organisms in crops and interactions between plant pests and diseases;
- have insight in the genetics of plant pathogens, more specifically the gene-for-gene concept and pathogen population management.


Lectures, practical training, excursions.


The examination is based on a written exam and performance in and reporting on the practical training.


Acquaah (2007) Principles of plant genetics and breeding, 1st ed. ISBN 1405136464
Gail.L. Schumann and Cleora D'Arcy (2010) Essential Plant Pathology, second edition.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBSc1MO
Restricted Optional for: MPSPlant SciencesMScE: Plant Pathology and Entomology1MO
MPSPlant SciencesMScD: Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources1MO
Compulsory for: WUPBTBSc Minor Plant Biotechnology1MO