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Plant Breeding

Plant Breeding

Release Date: Each February

This module is designed to give those with an interest in plant breeding a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to bring a variety from concept to market. Featured crops include: beans, peas, oats, ryegrass, clover and energy crops. We consider all aspects of what makes a commercial plant breeding program successful. Real datasets will demonstrate the challenges a breeder faces when making selections. You will undertake case studies to look in depth at the process of breeding a crop of your choice.


  •  Plant reproductive biology
  •  Control of pollination and uses in breeding
  •  Breeding systems for self and cross-pollinated plant species
  •  Defining breeding objectives
  •  Trait measurement and selection methods
  •  Agricultural experimentation and trial design
  •  Defining breeding objectives
  •  Variety legislation and commercialisation
  •  Marker-assisted and genome wide selection
  •  Utilising diversity, mutant and biotechnology in breeding


Tutors Name
Dr Peter Wootton-Beard
Javier Castillo

My name is Javier Castillo, I'm professional support research in Colombian Research Corporation (AGROSAVIA* - Colombia), with experience in research forage and grasses for Colombian high tropics; generating strategies to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of milk production systems. AGROSAVIA is a decentralized public entity non-profit, and the mission is to contribute to technical change to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the Colombian agricultural sector. The modules are interesting because the platform is manageable, understandable, ordered, methodological and teaching is high level; finally, the web of science is an excellent opportunity to learn. This program has helped me to generate a vision globally, to better perform my job in Agrosavia and personally as a person I have changed.