PLANT SC 3200WT - Plant Breeding III
Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code PLANT SC 3200WT Course Plant Breeding III Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s Waite Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge ANIML SC 2501WT & PLANT SC 2510WT or equivalent Course Description Genetic manipulation in plants has underpinned improvements in productivity and has enhanced sustainability of farming systems worldwide. As well, plant genetic diversity is fundamental to understand adaptation in natural systems. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of plant breeding and plant adaptation that are applicable to agricultural and natural systems. Extensive industry engagement is also undertaken as part of the course curriculum where students connect with industry leaders in the plant breeding discipline, whether in broad-acre cropping (e.g. wheat, barley, canola, faba bean breeding) or horticulture (e.g. almond breeding). The topics covered include: genetic diversity in relation to adaptation, productivity, pest and disease resistance and end-use quality; strategies for setting breeding objectives and maximising selection and improvement of key traits; breeding methodologies for self or cross pollinated plants.
Course Coordinator: Professor Jason Able
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesThe anticipated knowledge, skills and/or attitude to be
developed by the student are:
1. Describe sources and types of genetic variation and
explain their importance for plant improvement.
2. Describe the progression of stages within a modern breeding
programme from the setting of breeding objectives, through the development and
implementation of breeding strategies to the commercialisation of plant
varieties and the protection of intellectual property.
3. Describe methods that are used in plant breeding.
4. Locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information
relevant to plant breeding.
5. Judge which plant breeding methods are appropriate for
specific objectives and situations.
6. Formulate and justify a plan for the application of plant
breeding methods to achieve a specific objective.
7. Carry out specific plant breeding activities, such as
selection of parental germplasm, observation and recording of phenotypic
variation and selection among progeny.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1, 2, 3 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
4, 5, 6 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
2, 3, 4 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
Required ResourcesStudents will be required to use MyUni
Recommended ResourcesWhile not deemed essential, a list of recommended resources
Writing guide: The following booklet provides a useful guide
on written communication in science:
Cargill, M. & Bellotti, M. 2004, Written Communication
in the Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, The University of Adelaide,
Acquaah, G. 2007, Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding,
Blackwell Publishing, Malden.
A dictionary of terms:
Schlegel, R.H.J. 2003, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Plant
Breeding and Related Subjects, Haworth Press, New York.
Other books: These books are also available in the Waite Library:
Halloran, G.M., Knight, R., McWhirter, K.S. & Sparrow,
D.H.B. 1979, A Course Manual in Plant Breeding. Australian Vice-Chancellors’
Sleper, D.A. & Poehlman, J.M. 2006, Breeding Field
Crops, Blackwell, Iowa.
Chrispeels, M.J. & Sadava, D.E. 2003, ‘Plants, genes and
crop biotechnology’. Jones and Bartlett, Boston.
For some of the practicals (field trips), University cars
will be used to transport the students to and from the activity
Online LearningMyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course will be delivered by the following means:
Lectures: 2 hours per week
Practicals: 4 hours per week
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
Schedule Week Type of learning activity Topic Week 1 Lecture Introduction to plant breeding
Genetic diversity and genetic resources
Practical Crossing and selection decisions Week 2 Lecture Quantitative and qualitative variation in plants Practical Roseworthy summer nursery Week 3 Lecture Crossing within and between plant species Practical Eucalyptus breeding at the Waite Week 4 Lecture Novel variation for plant breeding Practical Terminology test Week 5 Lecture Breeding methods for self-pollinating species Practical Designing and setting up trials Week 6 Lecture Breeding methods for clonally propagated plants Practical Almond breeding at the Waite Week 7 Lecture Breeding methods for cross-pollinating species I Practical Presentations on examples in plant breeding Week 8 Lecture Breeding methods for cross-pollinating species II
Breeding hybrid crops
Practical Lucerne germplasm development and breeding Week 9 Lecture Breeding for resistance against diseases and pests Practical Disease screening Week 10 Lecture Performance evaluation Practical Information management in plant breeding Week 11 Lecture Cultivar release and commercialisation
Future of plant breeding – molecular markers as a case study
Practical Australian Grain Technologies Visit Week 12 Lecture Exam tutorial Practical Review session
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcomes being assessed Terminology test Summative 10% No 1, 2, 3, 5 Student blogs Summative 15% No 1, 2, 3, 6 Oral presentation Summative 15% No 1, 2, 3, 6 Major written report Summative 25% No 5, 6, 7 Final exam Summative 35% Yes 1, 2, 3, 6
Assessment Related RequirementsAttendance at practical classes and field trips (where held) are compulsory unless you have a medical certificate. It is also expected that all lectures will be attended and that students will read and comment on the short reports (BLOGS) that other students post.
Assessment DetailTerminology test (10%)
At the beginning of the course, students will be provided with a list of terms and their definitions. The test (conducted early in the semester, around week 3) will assess understanding of the meaning of these terms. Feedback from the test is made available to the students one week after the test.
Student blogs (15%)
Over the course of the semester, students will contribute to a blog on MyUni by reporting in an accurate and interesting way about highlights from practicals/field trips in the course and/or other topics related to plant breeding. Each student will contribute three unique entries (no more than 300 words each) spread across the semester (approximately weeks 5, 8 and 11). Students are also expected to read each others’ posts and to post constructive comments. By the end of the semester, the blog should provide an informative and interesting record of highlights from this course.
Oral presentation on an example in plant breeding (15%)
Information and materials (including images) about a series of examples in plant breeding are provided as background information on MyUni. At the beginning of the course, each example is assigned to one student. Each student is then required to prepare and give an oral presentation in week 6 or 7 that: Presents and explains the example to the class, relating it to one or more important concepts in plant breeding; Provides relevant information and critical analysis beyond that included in the materials that were provided with the example.
Major written report (25%)
Each student is to write a report outlining a plan for addressing a specific breeding objective for a specific crop. This assessment item is due towards the end of semester (approximately week 12). The report (1500-2500 words) will include the following sections: Background on the plant species; Background on the breeding objective; A breeding plan outlining how the objective can be addressed; Discussion, which will include what factors a breeder would need to consider in deciding whether and how to address this breeding objective; Conclusion; References cited. Students will receive written feedback on this report within two weeks.
Final exam (35%)
A final exam will be given at the end of the semester to ensure summative knowledge of course material. Students must achieve at least 40% in the final exam to pass the course.
Replacement/Additional Assessment Exams
Academic grounds: offered to students who achieve a final course mark between 45-49%. Note that Replacement/Additional Exams on academic grounds will be held within the University’s official Replacement/Additional Assessment Exam period (i.e. July for semester 1 courses and December for semester 2 courses).
Medical and/or compassionate grounds: may also be granted to provide an opportunity for students whose academic performance was impaired by circumstances beyond their control in the primary examinations (i.e. medical and/or compassionate grounds). More details on Replacement/Additional Exams can be found at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/supps.html.
SubmissionIf an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply.
A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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