Course contents

“The World of Plant Breeding and Seeds”

Session 1 Socio-economic relevance.
Introduction, expectations, agenda
Importance of plant breeding, starting material, relevance seed sector, biotechnology
a) Importance of plants, importance of plant breeding
b) Starting material, Propagation: vegetative and generative, Quality
c) Timeline: history of plant breeding
d) Economic relevance of the seed sector: the world, the Netherlands, West-Friesland
e) Biotechnology: discussion on the usefulness and necessity of GMOs


Session 2 Biodiversity and plant breeding.
Biodiversity and plant breeding.
a) Biodiversity, centers of origin; domestication of crops
b) Species and varieties, landraces and regional varieties
c) Importance of genetic diversity for breeding, plant collection
d) Conservation of biodiversity; in situ, in gene banks
e) International Laws and Regulations
f) Product development process in steps
g) Market requirements and product profiles: breeding objectives

Session 3 Plant breeding.
Plant breeding: genetics, basic concepts and process
a) Basic genetics (Simulation of flower color inheritance)
b) Flower biology and pollination
c) Male sterility
d) Making crosses in practice
e) Inbreeding, parent lines
f) F-1 hybrid
g) Assessment of new potential varieties, market introduction.

Session 4 Plant breeding.
Plant breeding: resistance breeding, (bio)technology and phenotyping.
a) Tissue culture and cell biology
b) Mutation breeding
c) Breeding for resistance
d) Biotechnology: molecular markers, sequencing, gene editing
e) Phenotyping

Session 5 Producing, cleaning and seed treatment.
1 Seed production/multiplication
a) Planning of seed production
b) Open pollinated varieties versus F1 hybrids
c) Considerations when choosing ‘where to produce’: greenhouse, field, climate…
d) Pollination methods and seed setting
e) Male sterility and synchronization of flowering
f) Field inspections and yield estimates
g) Harvesting, drying and storage

2 Seed Cleaning (Processing) and seed enhancement
a) Cleaning principles: size, shape, (specific) weight, color
b) Cleaning equipment
c) Optical sorting techniques
d) Priming
e) Phytosanitary treatments
f) Film coating and pelleting

Session 6. Seed quality and seed enhancement.
1 Seed quality
a) Aspects of seed quality: moisture, germination, health, varietal identity/purity, etc.
b) Prevention and process control

2 Legislation and regulations
a) Protection of growers and consumers
b) Protection of breeders

3 Packaging and distribution of seeds
4 Biological seeds
5 Young plant production

Evaluation of the course

Application form course The World of Plantbreeding and Seeds’ autumn 2024

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