Plant Breeding and Selection: Basic Principles and Methods

A comprehensive understanding of plant breeding principles and practices is crucial for professionals working in this field. This course offers valuable learning opportunities that can help enhance your expertise and professional development. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and learn about basic concepts and principles in plant breeding, evaluate selection programs, choose appropriate selection methods, select effective breeding strategies and understand the production of F1 hybrid cultivars. Furthermore, you will analyse observations to differentiate genetic and non-genetic factors, estimate heritability, and delve into the consequences of chimerism and ploidy differences in breeding material.

Organised by Wageningen Academy

Mon 2 September 2024 until Thu 3 October 2024

Duration 5 weeks, 20 hours per week
Price EUR 1,230.00

Registration deadline: 12 August 2024

Target audience

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.

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

Learning outcomes

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

  • Choose the appropriate selection method to breed for (certain combinations of) traits.
  • Explain basic concepts and principles in plant breeding.
  • Evaluate plant breeding selection online courses in terms of their advantages and limitations.
  • Indicate the key features, advantages and challenges in the production of F1 hybrid cultivars.
  • Analyse observations to separate genetic and non-genetic components of variation, including estimation of heritability.
  • Select the appropriate breeding strategy, considering the mode of reproduction of the crop of interest.
  • Discuss the consequences of chimerism in mutants, and the implications of ploidy differences in breeding material.


By following this course, you will learn to explain basic concepts and principles, evaluate plant breeding programs, choose appropriate selection methods, select breeding strategies, understand key features and challenges in F1 hybrid cultivar production, analyse observations to separate genetic and non-genetic components of variation, estimate heritability, discuss consequences of chimerism in mutants, and understand the implications of ploidy differences in breeding material. These learning outcomes equip professionals with the knowledge and skills to advance their careers and make informed decisions in the field of plant breeding.

This course is an online course at master level that you follow in a cohort. Learners participate at different time points and from different time zones, as most learners also have a job. The programme therefor offers learning activities that allow you to supervised self-study at your own pace, with deadlines for assignments, and includes knowledge clips, e-learning modules that illustrate the principles and offer numerous exercises, online individual and group assignments, read literature, online discussions, and in some courses occasionally live question hours through MS Teams at specific dates and times. There are no online live classes. The exam has a fixed date.

Recommended for background reference (not specifically used in the course): G. Acquaah, 2012. Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, 2nd Edition Wiley-Blackwell (not included in the course fee).

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


Participation in the remotely proctored exam is optional. If you decide not to participate in the exam, you do not qualify for a Micro-credential.

The date of examination is 3 October 2024. The duration of an exam is 3 hours. The resit will be scheduled on 5, 6 or 7 February 2025.


Upon successful completion - passing the exam -, a digital Micro-credentials certificate (EduBadge) with 3 study credits (ECTS) is issued. The EduBadge certifies the learning outcomes of short-term learning experiences, marking the quality of a course.

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