PLANT BREEDING AND SEED TECHNOLOGY COURSE SYNOPSIS

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PBS 401: INTRODUCTORY GENETICS AND PLANT BREEDING (3 Units)
Cell division – Mitosis, Meiosis and Gametogenesis. Mendelian Genetics – concept of dominant/ recessive characters, the significant of hybrid ratios, Mendelian laws. Linkage and crossing-over, coupling and repulsion phases of linkage and effects on genotypic expectations; linkage maps. Gene expression and interaction. Pleiotropism, additive genes, epistatic genes, complementary genes, duplicate genes etc. Polygenic inheritance. Definition of Plant Breeding. Methods of reproduction in plants. Principles of selection. Genetic basis of breeding self and cross-pollinated crops. Concept of genetic gain. Concepts of disease/insect resistance/tolerance.
Practicals: slide presentation of stages in cell division. Demonstration of dominance/recessive characters. Selfing and cross-pollination in plant species and hybrid ratios.
PBS 501: PRINCIPLES OF SEED TECHNOLOGY (2 Units)
Elements of seed industry. Seed programme development, Purity analysis, seed viability and vigour. Seed storage principles. Seed conservation and germplasm. Seed packaging purposes, types and cost implications. Seed marketing; principles and objectives. Marketing organisation and management. Seed sampling methods - types and techniques. Seed blending – procedures an calculation. Seed laws. Plant Breeders’ rights – implementation and evaluation. Synthetic seed: Somatic embrogenesis.
Practicals: Purity analysis, seed viability and vgiour. Sampling technique – primary, composite, submitted and working samples. Seed health testing. Seed packaging – types and differential permeability to moisture. In-vitro culture.
PBS 502: SEED PRODUCTION (3 Units)
Environment and other factors affecting seed multiplication. Pollination – wind and insect. Pollination of F1 hybrid plants for seed production. Controlled multiplication. Cultural practices: plant protection, chemical application. Crop maturity and time of harvest. Seed certification. Protection against foreign pollen. Isolation distance. Deterioration of seed stocks. Contact growing-philosophy, principles and applications.
Practicals: Dormancy breaking techniques. Application of pesticides and visit to commercial seed processing companies: National Seed Service and MANR Asero, to familiarize students with seed processing, packaging and storage principles.
PBS 503: CROP EVOLUTION AND TAXONOMY (2 Units)
Theory of evolution. Mechanics of crop evolution, Roles of hybridization recombination and natural selection in crop evolution. Isolating mechanism. Modes of specialization. Concepts of primary and secondary centers of origin. Origin of commonly cultivated crops. Genetic variation in populations. Genetic drift. An introduction to the principles of taxonomy, plant nomenclature, succession, mechanisms for survival.
Practicals: A survey of crop species and their wild relatives. Consideration of crop varieties and how they fit into a species. Collection of various species within a genus and see how they relate to each other.
PBS 504: PLANT BREEDING (2 Units)
Definition of Plant Breeding. Role of plant breeding in increasing global food supply. Quantitative characters in plant breeding. Role of environment in plant breeding. Self-incompatibility system. Methods of breeding self-pollinated crops: Pedigree breeding, Pure line breeding. Mass selection, Bulk-population breeding. Backcross breeding.
Methods of breeding cross-pollinated crops: Mass selection, Re-current selection, Reciprocal recurrent selection, Synthetic varieties, Hybrid varieties. Methods of breeding Asexually propagated crops. Breeding for diseases resistance, germplasm conservation and evaluation. Tissue culture in plant breeding.
Practicals: Identification of crop varieties on the field. Emasculation. Selfing and crossing techniques in pollination. Mechanism for preventing contamination after pollination. Collection of types of flowers and how each type affects breeding. Cloning and its effects in genetic variability. Field layout in varietal trials. Excursion to research institutes engaged in plant breeding.
PBS 505: GENETIC METHODS IN PLANT BREEDING (2 Units)
Management of variability in plants. Metrical characters, inbreeding and outbreeding. Heterosis, concepts of heritability; Genetic advance. Methods of selection. Evaluation of inbred line for specific and general combining abilities. Diallel analysis. Gene juggling, chromosome engineering Gene transfer and genome reconstruction.
Practical: Genetic analysis of variation in plants. Calculations involving heterosis, heritability, genetic advance and combining abilities. Practical examples of diallel analysis.
PBS 506: SEED PRESERVATION (2 Units)
Seed conservation and germplams. Aims and objectives. Germination capacity and storage life. Sigmoid curve. Ecological habitat. Seed moisture relations. Temperature-moisture relationship. Harrington’s Rule of Thumb. Absorption-desorption isotherms. Gases and seed longevity. Biotic factors - insects, mites, rodents and birds. Storage conditions. Sealed storage. Seed treatment. Storage of treated seeds.
Practicals: Principles of moisture reduction and/or adjustments. Seed moisture determination using standard oven method. Other methods of determining seed moisture. Moisture meters. Seed desiccation and experimental use of desiccators. Moisture vapour – proof packages – tin cans, aluminium foils, heat-sealable pouches, polyethylene films practical demonstration.
PBS 507: INTRODUCTORY CROP BIOTECHNOLOGY (3 Units)
Definition of biotechnology, its branches and its relationship to basic sciences. Importance of biotechnology in crop improvement and production. Nucleic acid hybridization, function of endonuclease; polymerase and other enzymes. Role of southern blot, restriction fragment length, polymorphism and other techniques in gene mapping. Transformation and production of transgenic crops.  Protoplast, cell, tissue and organ culture, in-vitro pollen germination and fertilization, protoplasm and cell fusion, crop propagation and somatic embryogenesis in rapid multiplication of agriculture and rural development in the developing countries.
Practicals: Preparation of media, aseptic transfer of explants, micro-propagation of plants.

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