This module runs each September.
This module is designed to give those with little understanding of genetics a practical knowledge of the principles and technologies that underpin breeding programmes. It will focus on the challenges facing land-based production in the 21st century and on the role of emerging technologies in meeting these challenges sustainably. After initially detailing the broad objectives and methods involved in breeding programmes it will allow you to follow a specific crop or animal breeding pathway. It will give you an understanding of the methodologies applied in molecular and population genetics as well as in related disciplines such as proteomics and metabolomics, allowing you to conceptualise and apply these concepts to further agricultural production.
The module’s units consist of:
- Domestication of agricultural species – the domestication of dominant agricultural plant and animal species; the term ‘natural’ from a geneticist’s standpoint.
- Basic concepts of genetics – the fundamental genetic principles underpinning traditional and modern breeding.
- Modern breeding methodologies – common strategies for breeding agricultural animal and plant species.
- Trait evaluation and reporting – measuring and recording physiological and biochemical traits; reporting genetic potential with reference to estimated breeding values and recommended listing.
- Marker-assisted selection and next generation sequencing – sequencing technology has already revolutionised breeding programmes. Its use in marker assisted selection will be explored.
- Genetic technology – genetic modification; production of cloned animals and reproductive technology will be explained and their current application evaluated.
- Agricultural genetics and society – the application of any genetic technology must first be accepted by the wider population. This unit will examine current public feeling surrounding the topic and explore how this could change.
- Future prospects – predictions about how genetic technology may be utilised; its currently limited use and its future potential applications.
Qualifiactions within which this module may be used as an option: