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Plant Breeding & Trial Design for Registration


This module provides an introduction to modern plant breeding techniques in the context of the genetic basis of phenotypic variation. It will allow
students to understand heritable plant characteristics that enhance production, confer resistance or tolerance to adverse conditions and improve the

The recent advances in plant genomics and subsequently bioinformatics have had a significant impact on genetics. New techniques and
equipment now allow us to map out the biochemical structure of all of the genes of an organism, and then to investigate gene function and regulation. The first
step is known as structural genomics, and the second step is called functional genomics. Any approach towards a sustainable future will require us to
integrate both genetic and genomic knowledge that will provide opportunity to harness the power of plant genomics to create crops with improved traits.

The section on trial design builds on the general statistical training provided in the induction programme at the start of the course, focussing on the practical and
statistical issues that scientists need to consider when planning research programmes concerned with developing and testing crop protection products, leading
to potential registration of these products, and with developing new varieties of crops with particular characteristics.


This module aims to provide an introduction to the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic variation. By the end of this course it is expected that
the participants will have a knowledge of the basics of plant genetics and genomics. Participants will also acquire a basic grounding in trial design and
the statistical analysis of the data required to support registration of crop protection products.


  • Introduction to plant breeding

  • Crop evolution and domestication

  • Plant breeding techniques

  • Molecular markers
  • Genetic mapping
  • Quantitative trait locus mapping

  • A guide to breeding strategies
  • Utilisation of biodiversity

  • GM Crops

  • Designing experiments

  • Designing practical trials

  • Analysis of designed experiments

  • Analysis interpretation & reporting

  • Elementary genetics

  • Marker screening
  • Genetic mapping computer workshop