Master's course Plant Breeding - Breeding for Quality

Working professionals in the plant breeding sector can enhance their skills and stay ahead of the curve by joining the 'Breeding for Quality' course. This Online Master's course focuses on the latest advancements in breeding for consumer-driven quality traits, such as flavour, colour, and nutritional value, as well as plant compounds for bio-based applications. By gaining knowledge on the metabolic routes of desired compounds and efficient production techniques, you will be equipped to increase yield and enrich mixtures in target compounds. With a deep understanding of breeding objectives and techniques, professionals will be able to meet the evolving demands of the agriculture industry and stay competitive in an ever-changing market.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 25 November 2024 until Thu 19 December 2024

Duration 3 weeks, 20 hours per week, plus a week of exam preparation (2 ECTS)
Price EUR 820.00

Please note that the dates for the academic year of 2024-2025 are yet to be confirmed, so they might still change.

Why follow this online course?

Traditionally, producer traits such as yield and disease resistance have been the primary breeding targets in many crops. In current agriculture, however, consumer-driven quality traits, such as flavour, colour and nutritional value have become increasingly important, and the same holds for the production of specific plant compounds which can be used as sources for bio-based applications. Breeding for Quality is directed at improving whole fruit/vegetable characteristics and plant compounds, where flavour, colour, texture, absence of antinutritional factors or allergens, and shelf-life are important breeding objectives. Breeding for Quality also comprises the efficient production of all kinds of compounds, which are used as ingredients by the food, pharmaceutical, chemical, textile, paper, etc. industries. Examples of such compounds are carbohydrates (starch, fructans, cellulose), proteins (wheat gluten, pea storage proteins), vegetable fats/oils (rape seed oil, cocoa fat), and secondary metabolites like flavours, fragrances, and phytoestrogenic molecules. In breeding programmes, the existing genetic variation is exploited to increase the yield of (or enrich mixtures in) the target compounds. To bring this about, it is necessary to understand the metabolic routes leading to the synthesis of the desired compound, and to have knowledge on how these compounds can be determined in the plant material. 

Is this online course for you?

If you are a working professional in the plant breeding sector, this course is the perfect opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and sharpen your skills. This comprehensive course will provide you with the tools you need to succeed and advance in your career, especially in combination with other advanced Online Master's Courses Plant Breeding

This course is also part of the Online Master's course series - Plant Breeding: Markers in Quantitative Genetics & Quality.

What you'll learn

After successful completion of this online course, you will to be able to:

  • explain the major characteristics of various quality traits;
  • define appropriate selection strategies for specific target traits;
  • apply relevant analytic and statistical screening techniques for trait valuation;
  • use this knowledge to develop breeding strategies for improved resistance, tolerance and quality.

Learning methods

Study knowledge clips with theoretical assignments, group activities, individual assignments and literature. 

Practical information

STAP budget

When enrolling in this course, you may apply for the use of the STAP budget. Check if you are eligible for the STAP-budget.


Links to relevant articles will be provided through the course website (included in course fee). 

Time investment

This course is quite time-intensive and requires approximately 20 hours per week for the average participant. There are assignments with deadlines. 

It's important to realise that, if you do not comply with these recommendations, you cannot claim extra support from the instructor and cannot claim a refund of the registration fee, if you decide to discontinue the course. 

Prerequisite knowledge

You need to have sufficient knowledge on concepts and methodologies related to plant biology, such as genetics, plant breeding, plant physiology and molecular biology.


Participation in the remotely proctored exam is optional. If you decide not to participate in the exam, you do not qualify for a certificate and/or Micro-credentials.

The date of examination is 19-12-2024 (19 December 2024) from 8:30 - 22:00 (Amsterdam Time Zone). The duration of the exam is 3 hours.


Upon successful completion - passing the exam and making assignments -, a digital certificate with 2 study credits (ECTS) is issued. This offers no immediate rights to apply towards a formal degree programme at a university, but might support your request for admission. In case you've also completed the Master's Course Markers in Quantitative Genetics & Plant Breeding successfully, you can obtain a Micro-credentials certificate. 

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More information & Registration

You can register for this course. Have any questions? Contact Wageningen Academy.