Basic Plant Breeding

*Sample Lesson – (flash) (mp4)*

Basic Plant Breeding can by taken as an entire course (all three units) or each unit can be taken individually.  For participants in our Professional Certificate in Plant Breeding and Genetics, completion of all three units is required.

Unit 1 – Introduction to Basic Plant Breeding 
Introduction to Basic Plant Breeding provides a review of plant reproduction, genetic variation, gene banks, germplasm preservation, gene segregation, the power of selection and its role in plant breeding, and an introduction to intellectual property and its role in the life of a plant breeder. This unit is designed to prepare the participant to explore the genetics and methodologies employed by plant breeders of self and cross pollinated crop species in units two and three of Basic Plant Breeding.
Introduction to Basic Plant Breeding Overview Video (flash) (mp4)
Cost – $226.55

 Unit 2 – Breeding Self Pollinated Crops

The frequency of any specific heterozygous locus will be reduced by 50% for every generation of selfing, resulting in a mixture of homozygous lines within any natural population. Phenotypic selection within heterozygous generations will lead to homozygous or near homozygous germplasm lines or cultivars under self-pollination. This unit is designed to communicate plant breeding methodologies that take advantage of the genetic consequences of natural or forced self-pollination in agronomic crops. Topics will include: [1] the basics of segregation, [2] breeding methodologies, [3] the grain sorghum conversion program-an example of backcrossing in a different direction, [4] review of a commercial soybean cultivar development program, and [5] a review of the types of genetic releases from Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Breeding Self Pollinated Crops Overview Video (flash) (mp4)
Cost – $226.55
Unit 3 – Breeding Cross Pollinated Crops
Topics covered include: quantitative genetics and plant breeding, effects of selection on Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium, mating designs with cross pollinated crops, breeding methods for cross pollinated crops, deviations from Mendelian ratios, genetic male sterility and hybrid seed production, seed certification and types of release.
Cost – $226.55
 Full Course (all 3 Units)
Cost – $679.65

Recommended textbooks are “Breeding Field Crops” by J.M. Poehlman and D.A. Sleper, and “Principles of Cultivar Development” by W.F. Fehr. A final exam will allow the participant to assess their grasp of topics covered. Participants in the Plant Breeding and Genetic Certificate Program must score 70% on the final exam for each unit.

This is a “self-paced” course and is available for viewing for a limited time.  Time commitment is individual student driven.  Few outside assignments are made.  Students should view each lecture, review all previous lectures and be prepared to discuss any issues that are unclear.  Each unit has a printable note set and most units have a set of review questions that can be used as a tool to check your comprehension and grasp of unit concepts.  Feel free to contact the instructor, Dr. Wayne Smith, by e-mail ( or phone (979-845-3450) with any questions you have or if you need additional information.

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