Master's course Plant Breeding - Germplasm and Seed Technology

Join this academic-level online course for working professionals in the plant breeding sector, providing you with an in-depth understanding of various key aspects of the field. The course covers important topics such as the process of domestication, germplasm development, gene banks, breeders' rights and patents, seed production programs, and seed quality. The practical applications of these theories are emphasised, as the course aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their careers. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to explain the theory of domestication, understand the importance of gene banks, explain breeders' rights and patents, design seed production programmes, and improve seed quality.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 25 September 2023 until Fri 20 October 2023

Duration 4 weeks, 20 hours per week
Price EUR 1,230.00

Registration deadline: 13 August 2023

Exam date: 19 October 2023

Why follow this online course?

This course introduces participants to several important aspects of plant breeding, such as the process of domestication, germplasm development and the importance of gene banks. Also, important practical aspects on bringing a cultivar to the market are discussed, such as breeders' rights and patents, and the design of seed and plant production programmes. Seed physiology and seed quality aspects receive thorough attention, because in many cases the seed is the actual product that is sold by breeding companies.

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 the more advanced plant breeding courses in an Online Master's course series Plant Breeding. 

This course is also part of the Online Master's course series - Plant Breeding: Markers in Quantitative Genetics, Germplasm & Seed Technology

What you'll learn

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

  • explain the theory of domestication, the gene pool concept, and the process of germplasm development;
  • explain the importance of gene banks and explain how they work;
  • understand how seed production programs are designed;
  • understand seed quality aspects and explain how seed quality can be improved.

Learning methods

Watch knowledge clips, hand-in assignments, watch DVD/YouTube movies and answer questions, interact with peers and supervisors in discussions, peer-learning activities, read book chapters

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.


Book chapters made available through the WUR library: 

  • Seeds, Physiology of Development, Germination and Dormancy (3rd ed.) J. Derek Bewley, Kent J. Bradford, Henk W.M. Hilhorst and Hiro Nonogaki, 2013. Springer, 392 pp.;
  • Principles of plant Genetics and Breeding, (2nd ed.) Acquaah, G, 2012.

DVD, made available through the learning environment: Seed hunter. 

Articles made available through the WUR library. 

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 should have sufficient knowledge on concepts and methodologies related to plant biology, such as genetics, plant physiology and molecular biology. Principles of plant breeding and knowledge of molecular markers are especially important. If you lack certain knowledge or skills listed above, you can follow the online course Principles of Plant Breeding and/or Markers in Quantitative Genetics & Plant Breeding first.


Participation in the remote 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 19-10-2023 (19 October 2023) from 08:30 - 22:00 (Amsterdam Time Zone). The duration of an exam is 3 hours. The resit will be scheduled in the week of 5 February 2024.


Upon successful completion - passing the exam and making assignments -, a digital certificate with 3 study credits (ECTS) is issued. This certificate offers no immediate righs to apply for 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. 

Coordinated by

More information & Registration

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