Horticulture student from Aeres University of Applied Sciences in field with tree

First semester

Minor Plant Breeding and Seed Production

This minor focuses mainly on conventional plant breeding techniques. You will design a breeding programme and execute the different steps in developing new cultivars:

  1. Determine the goals or aim of the breeding programme, based on the analysis of crop production and market data.
  2. Introduce genetic variation.
  3. Assess selection trials and storage of data.
  4. Design selection experiments for desired traits, while including disease tests.

There are courses in: genetic variation and breeding methods, biology of seed production, breeding for resistance, experimental design and analysis of field trial data. In the project you will further develop the competencies to manage, cooperate, present, research and organize.

Minor Advanced Methods in Plant Breeding

This minor focuses on the advanced methods used in plant breeding. You will search for genetic markers to select for different traits and identify the possibilities for genetic modification in the different stages of breeding programmes (variation, recombination, selection and propagation). Besides this, you will analyze big data sets of selection trails to advise breeders on which material they should continue using in their breeding programmes. There is also a course on molecular breeding and there are training sessions in data analysis, clonal propagation, and in vitro techniques. Through your assessment you will be able to develop the competencies to research, innovate, globalize be self-driven.

Second semester

Internship and thesis

The second semester incorporates a full-time internship and writing a thesis. During the internship, you will be challenged to further develop the competencies that you will need in your career. The thesis is either a research report, a literature review or a business plan, in which you can prove your applied scientific and academic expertise.

Personal development and ethics

Personal development is key in our bachelor’s degree programmes. Not only will you develop expertise in the field of plant breeding, you will also develop the necessary professional skills and attitudes to manage a project, organize your work, work within an international context and in a team, present to different target groups, perform applied research and innovate in your daily work. Your proficiency in these professional skills and attitudes will be assessed at the end of the programme.

By following this programme, you will be able to deal responsibly with ethical aspects in general, and with breeding techniques in particular. You will develop your own code of behaviour, based on your personal values and standards.