Master's course series Plant Breeding - Markers in Quantitative Genetics, Germplasm & Seed Technology

Do you want to gain an understanding of how molecular markers are used in plant breeding programmes? And do you want to know more about the potential of marker-aided selection? Then this course series is for you! This online programme is designed for professionals in the plant breeding sector who want to expand their knowledge on modern quantitative genetics and genomics. The two online courses of this course series will increase your understanding of marker-assisted selection, how it can be used as a decision support tool in modern agricultural breeding programmes and how this can help improve plant productivity. You'll also learn about how seeds are selected, analysed and preserved using modern technology to ensure maximum quality at harvest time and reduced losses during storage.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 27 May 2024 until Fri 5 July 2024

Mon 30 September 2024 until Fri 25 October 2024

Duration 10 weeks in total, 20 hours per week (7 ECTS)
Price EUR 2,870.00

Registration deadline: 7 April 2024

Exam date: 4 July 2024 & 17 October 2024

Why follow this course series?

As a plant breeder, staying informed about the latest developments in quantitative genetics, germplasm, and seed technology is critical for success in your field. Educating yourself on these topics will give you a better understanding of the genetic makeup of plants and enable you to develop better breeding strategies. Knowing how to use molecular markers in quantitative genetics can help you select plants with desired traits more efficiently and accurately. Additionally, understanding germplasm and seed technology can help you identify and acquire the best genetic resources for your breeding programme.

Incorporating these techniques into your breeding program can help you create plants with improved yield, disease resistance, and quality traits. By educating yourself on markers in quantitative genetics, germplasm, and seed technology, you can improve the efficiency of your breeding programme and create better plants that can make a positive impact on the environment and the people who depend on them.

Is this course series for you?

By joining this course series, which covers the latest techniques and technologies in the field of plant breeding, professional plant breeders can gain a competitive edge in their careers. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of fundamental concepts such as the theory of domestication, the gene pool concept, and the process of germplasm development. You will also learn about the importance of gene banks and how they work, and the principles of breeder's rights and patents, which are crucial to understand in the field of plant breeding. You will also gain knowledge and skills in designing and implementing seed production programmes, using sequence information for the discovery of SNPs and as molecular markers for genetic mapping, QTL analysis and marker-aided selection. You will also learn how to apply quantitative genetics models and statistical methods to quantify genetic variance, heritability, and to map genes involved in qualitative traits. Furthermore, you will gain a deep understanding of the concepts of QTL analysis, GWAS, and the application of molecular markers in indirect selection for phenotypic traits in breeding programmes and seed quality aspects that can be used to improve seed quality. By mastering these skills, you will be better equipped to improve your work and advance your career.

This comprehensive course series 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

What you'll learn & practical information

The Online Master's course series Plant Breeding - Markers in Quantitative Genetics, Germplasm & Seed Technology  consists of two courses. The courses can be taken separately as well. If you are interested in this course series, you can find more information about what you will learn, the learning methods, literature and software you'll use, time investment and prerequisite knowledge via the links to both courses.

Practical information

STAP budget

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

Software used in this course

R including R Studio.

Self-Paced Online Course Getting Started with R
You need to have advanced statistics knowledge and some experience with R and R Studio to perform statistical analyses. If the latter is not the case, you can follow the Self-Paced Online Course Getting Started with R. For more information and registration, please check this document.


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-credential.

The date of examination for the Master Course Markers in Quantitative Genetics & Plant Breeding is 04-07-2024 (4 July 2024) and for the Master Course Germplasm and Seed Technology is 24-10-2024 (24 October 2024) 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 15 July 2024 (Markers in Quantitative Genetics & Plant Breeding) and in the week of 3 February 2025 (Germplasm and Seed Technology).

Certificate, Micro-Credentials and Edubadge

Upon successful completion, a digital Micro-credentials certificate (EduBadge) with 7 study credits (ECTS) is issued. The EduBadge certifies the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences, marking the quality of a course. More information can be found here.  

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More information & Registration

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