NPLB20002U From Genomics to Plant Breeding

Volume 2023/2024

BSc Programme in Biotechnology

BSc Programme in Natural Resources


The course will address theoretical and applied aspects of genomics with a focus on plant technology and methods used for plant breeding. Theory on genetics and plant physiology will be included to enable discussions on how to use genetic diversity and how to identify new traits for plant improvement for sustainable plant production.


Following areas will be addressed:

  • From evolution to breeding
  • Comparing  plant genomes to those of other organisms
  • Plant breeding – traditional and new techniques
  • Goals and  strategies for breeding
  • Key traits and how new traits for breeding crops are identified
  • Genomic selection, genetic markers and their application
  • From genomics to phenomics
  • Plant variety protection, legislation


The key techniques and tools for analyzing data, from genomics to phenotyping, will be presented and further illustrated with examples from both model and crop plants. Together with these techniques, the underlying concepts for the development of markers and how markers are used in breeding are central to the course content.

In practical and theoretical computer exercises complementing the lectures, you will get familiar with some of the tools used in genomics and breeding such as excersise in using markers, in vitro techniques such as transient expression and clonal propagation and crosses to be used for selecting seeds with specific traits..

There will be excursion and guest lectures from relevant industries.

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the course, the students will be able to:


  • Describe basic genetics, in vitro culture and propagation systems for plant improvement
  • Understand the domestication from crop wild relatives and land races to modern crop plants
  • Describe systems for generation of mutations, double haploids and polyploidy manipulation and major incompatibility and sterility systems for plant breeding
  • Know the principles of quantitative traits, heritability and selection theory
  • Explain genetic markers and their use for qualitative and quantitative traits
  • Compare basic central experimental techniques used in plant genomics and breeding


  • Combine basic knowledge on genetics with information of selection systems and propagation methods
  • Use basic principles of cultivar protection, legislation and patenting in plant improvement programs with traditional and molecular techniques
  • Apply molecular and genetic tools in genomics and plant improvement


  • Collaborate with co-students, perform genomics- and breeding-related projects and document them in written reports
  • Evaluate alternative breeding approaches to improve different crop species and introduce new genetic diversity
  • Evaluate the potential of new genetic resources and biodiversity for improved crop production systems

Bridge the genotype to phenotype knowledge gap

See Absalon for course literature.

A combination of lectures, guest lectures, dialogue based teaching, practical exercises and excursions.
It is necessary to have knowledge, skills and competences in cell biology.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 67
  • Preparation
  • 77
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Excursions
  • 8
  • Laboratory
  • 30
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Type of assessment details
Oral exam with questions in the curriculum, 20 min.
Exam registration requirements

Approval of 80% of the reports

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as ordinary.

If the reports are not approved, they must be resubmitted no later than three weeks before the reexam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome