Course code LauZ3022

Credit points 6

Genetics and Horticultural Plant Breeding

Total Hours in Course162

Number of hours for lectures32

Number of hours for laboratory classes32

Independent study hours98

Date of course confirmation08.12.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developers

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Kaspars Kampuss

Dr. agr.

author lect.

Alise Klūga


Course abstract

Genetics and its basic regularities, heredity and variability of plants, as well as theoretical issues and methods of selection, e.g. hybridization, mutagenesis, polyploidy, heterosis, and selection, use of plant genetic resources, trait dominance and heredity, and methods of breeding new cultivars.
In laboratory works students acquire an in-depth understanding of heredity and variability and practical skills in performing basic genetic analysis.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

1. Know organoids/organelles of the cell and their main functions, as well as their genetic significance; chromosome structure and importance in genetics. Understand cell division - mitosis and meiosis; is aware of the importance of these two types of cell division; has knowledge of each of the two cell division phases, is able to identify the cell division phases – test 1 and essay.
2. Know the basics of hybridization theory, are able to solve hybridization tasks (monohybrid, dihybrid cross - in cases of complete and incomplete dominance). Students understand the basics of hybrid analysis theory – test 2.
3. Understand the structure, genetic significance, synthesis and transcription processes of DNA and RNA. Basic knowledge of genes and their expression. Understanding of modern breeding methods, importance of genetic markers in breeding – test 3, presentation in seminar.
4. Are able to perform basic genetic analysis and evaluate breeding results - laboratory works.

5. Competent to study and collect information independently, to prepare presentations and to justify their decisions and views – individual work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Historical development of plant breeding, its aims and significance nowadays.
2. The definition of genetics, the main research directions.
3. Cytological basis of heredity. Mitosis and meiosis.
Test 1.
4. Mendel’s laws of inheritance; interaction of allelic genes (mono-, dihybrid crossing).
5. Mendel’s laws of inheritance; interaction of non-allelic genes (complementation of genes, epistasis).
Test 2.
6. Molecular basis of heredity. DNA structure and replication, RNA synthesis and types. Protein synthesis. Genetic code. Gene expression.
7. Hereditary and non-hereditary variability of the organism.
8. Classification of mutations. Mutation of genes, chromosomes and genome, and characterization of mutations. Intergeneric hybridization.
Test 3.
9. Basics of population genetics.
10. Definition of breeding. Main steps of breeding. Organization of the breeding process. Classification and characterization of varieties.
11. The importance of breeding material. Plant genetic resources.
12. Breeding schemes of self-pollinating, population and hybrid plant varieties.
13. Non-chromosomal heredity. Inbreeding and heterosis.
13. Registration of varieties: DUS and VCU tests.
14. The use of phenotypical, biochemical and DNA markers in plant breeding.
15. Breeding for different traits: abiotic and biotic factors.
16. Breeding using modern biotechnology methods: in vitro, GMOs, CRSPR-Cas9 etc.
Test 4.
Workshop on Individual work – presentations about genome editing methods.

Laboratory work topics:
• Cell organelles, cell genetic material, cell division (work sheets);
• Mitosis - work with permanent slides; detection and identification of mitosis phases; start of preparation of mitosis slides.
• Mitosis - preparation of mitosis slides; identification of mitosis phases, detection of mitotic activity.
• meiosis - work with permanent slides.
• Breeding - Mendels laws of segregation; monohybrid, dihybrid and polyhybrid crossing tasks.
• Heredity laws - crossing tasks: non-allelic gene interaction (epistasis, complementary gene interaction).
• Heredity laws - crossing tasks: F2 hybrid analysis.
• Test on heredity laws, theoretical basis of breeding, crossing tasks.
• DNA extraction - the overview of the method, protocol drafting, acquiring skills working with molecular laboratory tools.
• DNA extraction from different plant leaves; DNA quality evaluation using spectrophotometer and electrophoresis gel.

• Analysis of sequencing results; identification of sequenced organisms using free online databases.

Requirements for awarding credit points

An exam.

Students who have successfully passed all tests, have developed and got credited laboratory works and have successfully presented their Individual work can take the exam.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Essay on cell division - the principle of mitosis un meiosis, comparison of both cell divisions; meaning in the growth, development, survival, and evolution. 1 - 2 pages; used literature - at least three literature sources; study literature and internet sources can be used.

Presentation - about molecular biology methods used in plant genome editing (CRISPR-Cas9, genetic modification, zinc-finger nucleases, mutagenesis, TALLEN, TILLING, etc). Presentation should be 10-15min long, short video materials can be included; at least 3 sources of literature should be used, at least one - scientific literature source; internet sources can be used for presentation preparation.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The final evaluation of the examination shall be the mark from the examination (70%) and the tests written during the semester and the individual job (essay and presentation) marks (30%).
It is possible to obtain the accumulating exam rating as the arithmetic mean from the tests written during the semester and the individual job marks, if their score is not lower than 7.

The laboratory and individual works shall be evaluated in accordance with the procedures for assessment specified in the laboratory and individual works tasks.

Compulsory reading

1. Misiņa M., Loža V. Ģenētika ar selekcijas pamatiem. Rīga, 1991. 397 lpp.
2. Raipulis J. Ģenētikas pamati. Rīga: RaKa, 2002. 250 lpp.
3. Āboliņš M. Ģenētikas praktikums. Jelgava: LLU. 1997. 225 lpp.

4. Fruit Breeding. Vol. I: Tree and Tropical Fruit. Ed. by J. Janic and J. Moore. New York etc. : John Wiley and Sons, 1996. 616 p.

Further reading

1. Brown J., Caligari P. An Introduction to Plant Breeding. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 2009. 209 p
2.Plant Breeding. J.Brown., P.Caligari, H.Campos. Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 278 p.
3.Fruit Breeding. Vol. I: Tree and Tropical Fruit. Ed. by J. Janic and J. Moore. New York etc.: John Wiley and Sons, 1996. 616 p.
4.Plant Biotechnology and Genetics. C. Neal Stewart Jr., Wiley. 2008.
Pieejams LLU FB abonētajā datubāzē eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost)

5.Biotechnology. Applying the Genetic Revolution. David P. Clark, Nanette J. Pazdernik. Elsevier, 2009.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Acta Horticulturae ISSN 0567-7572.

2. Plant Breeding. Published by John Wiley and Sons. ISSN (printed): 0179-9541. ISSN (electronic): 1439-0523. 2. Euphytica Published by Springer. ISSN (printed): 0014-2336. ISSN (electronic): 1573-5060. Pieejams LLU FB abonētajā datubāze SpringerLink


Field professional specialization course in study program Professional Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, qualification Agronomist with specialization in Horticulture.