751-3603-00L  Current Challenges in Plant Breeding

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersB. Studer, A. Hund, University lecturers
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentNumber of participants limited to 15.

AbstractThe seminar 'Current challenges in plant breeding' aims to bring together national and international experts in plant breeding to discuss current activities, latest achievements and future prospective of a selected topic/area in plant breeding.
The topic this year will be: 'Digital Plant Breeding – Hype or the way forward?'.
ObjectiveThe educational objectives cover both thematic competences and soft skills:
Thematic competences:
- Deepening of scientific knowledge in plant breeding
- Critical evaluation of current challenges and new concepts in plant breeding
- Promotion of collaboration and Master thesis projects with practical plant breeders
Soft skills:
- Independent literature research to get familiar with the selected topic
- Critical evaluation and consolidation of the acquired knowledge in an interdisciplinary team
- Establishment of a scientific presentation in an interdisciplinary team
- Presentation and discussion of the teamwork outcome
- Establishing contacts and strengthening the network to national and international plant breeders and scientist
ContentInteresting topics related to plant breeding will be selected in close collaboration with the working group for plant breeding of the Swiss Society of Agronomy (SSA). For this year, the topic 'Digital Plant Breeding – Hype or the way forward?' was selected.

In the fall semester (in November 2018), the enrolled students will meet with the lecturers as well as four to six tutors, selected according to their expertise in the selected topic (one afternoon, for about two hours). After an input talk by the lecturers, four to six specific questions/aspects will be identified and phrased. The tutors and the enrolled students will be assigned to four to six different groups, to critically evaluate one question/aspect of the selected topic. The students, guided by tutors, will prepare a presentation of 15 minutes (plus 5 minutes discussion) covering their specific question/aspect. Participation on that afternoon will be mandatory.

On February 1, 2019, a one-day seminar on the selected topic will be organized. The presentations of the students will be complemented with keynote talks from national and international experts, to discuss and critically evaluate the selected topic/area. The seminar will be public and serve as annual meeting of the SSA working group for plant breeding, bringing together the experts in plant breeding. During the reception after the seminar, there will be the opportunity to connect and interact with other seminar participants.

The course is designed for a maximum of 15 Master students and 10 PhD students (advertised and recruited via the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center). For full and active participation, a total of 2 credit/ECTS points will be provided.
Lecture notesno
LiteraturePeer-reviewed research articles, selected according to the selected topic/area.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipation in the BSc course 'Pflanzenzüchtung' is strongly recommended, a completed course in 'Molecular Plant Breeding' is highly advantageous.