Distance Learning Course: Plant Breeding


Online Course Plant Breeding

Are you looking for more theoretical background on plant breeding? This online course includes five modules, both basic, more complex breeding and selection methods, new technological developments, and underlying biological concepts. Online learning offers you a flexible learning process and the possibility to compose your own course. It is ideal for professionals and enables them to study the lecture material at their own pace and place.

This online course has been developed by experts from Wageningen University & Research. The modules have been successfully followed by a broad audience from more than twenty different countries and are well-rated.

Organisator Wageningen Academy, Wageningen Plant Breeding
Setup Online
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Plant Breeding plays an important role in the development of plant varieties for food, feed and industrial uses. New varieties have to meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality characteristics, salt or drought tolerance and suitability for sustainable plant production systems. Plant Breeding involves a variety of aspects, ranging from the molecular level to the population level and requires knowledge on the physiology, ecology and genetics of cultivated plants. The use of various molecular techniques contributes enormously to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating the selection process by markerassisted breeding.

5 modules

We offer an online course plant breeding consisting of 5 modules. You can register for any combination of modules.

  • Principles of plant breeding (M1) =1.0 ECTS
  • Marker-assisted selection (M2) =2.0 ECTS
  • Resistance to biotic factors (M3) = 0.2 ECTS
  • F1 hybrids (M4) = 1.0 ECTS
  • Mutation breeding (M5) = 1.0 ECTS

The ECTS for the individual modules differ. 1.0 ECTS equals ca. 28 study hours. More information on the covered topics can be downloaded from this website (see Downloads).

Optional: Exam and certificate with study credits
Each module can be completed by doing a written exam at Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. This is optional. After completing the exam successfully, a certificate with the relevant study credits (ECTS) is issued. You can do exam per module or for more modules at the same date.

Our approach

The study material is available on the online learning platform Blackboard Learn. The study material consists of built-in text and figures, supported by interactive self-tests to check the acquired knowledge.

Results for you

The complete online learning course plant breeding provides you with a concise overview of basic principles of plant selection and principles associated with genetic markers, linkage mapping, QTL-analysis, resistance against pathogens, F1 hybrids and mutation breeding.

Target group

Professionals in plant breeding and related companies and research institutes.


The contents of this course are written by experts of Wageningen UR. All modules are available through the internet and consist of built-in text and figures, supported by interactive self-tests.

Supervisory lecturer

Dr Jan-Kees Goud, Wageningen University & Research, Plant Breeding.