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Plant Breeding

Code: BIOL4016     Acronym: BIOL4016

Classification Keyword

Instance: 2022/2023 - 1S Ícone do Moodle

Active? No
Responsible unit: Department of Biology
Course/CS Responsible: Master's degree in Functional Biology and Biotechnology of Plants

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
M:BFBP 0 Plano de Estudos M:BFBP_2015_2016 1 - 3 21 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria Eugénia dos Santos Nunes

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 1,50
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 0 0,00
Maria Eugénia dos Santos Nunes 1,50

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


Apply the knowledge of plant physiology and biology to increase crop yield.

Knowing the importance of genetic resources as a source for selection, know the methods of conservation of genetic resources and know the major banks in national and international germplasm.

Knowing the importance of the genetic component in crop production.

Teaching methods (experimental design and field layout) to reduce environmental variation, to allow effective genetic selection.

Teaching methods of differential selection for sexually reproducing species (self-pollinating and cross-pollinating plants) and assexual reproducing species, taking into account the different ways to limit the influence of the environment. Knowing how to use the classical and molecular biological methods for improving the genetic component.

To know more efficient selection methodologies, combining the classical selection methods with the new technologies of genotyping and phenotyping, in order to guarantee a faster development of cultivars of high quality and productivity to face the 70% increase of the production by 2050, according to the 2009 Declaration of World Summit on Food Security.


Learning outcomes and competences

In the first two chapters, the student will learn the importance of genetic variability in the selection and breeding of plants and animals.

In the third chapter, the student will learn selection methodologies for different reproduction systems of plants.

In the last chapter, the student will learn to combine the classical methods of selection with new techniques of selection, leading to an increase in the selection efficiency for faster development of high yield varieties.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Genetics and Botany


  1. Introduction.

Importance of the genetic component in crop performance.


  1. Genetic variability

Importance of preserving genetic diversity in plants.

Strategies utilized to increase genetic variability.

Techniques utilized to preserve the genetic variability in plants.

National and international institutions specialized in the preservation of genetic resources.


  1. Classical methods of selection utilized in plant breeding

Sexual propagation in self and cross-pollinated species.

Asexual propagation species

Hybrid seed production.


  1. Combination of technologies for the development of adapted varieties

Photosynthetic efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency, water use efficiency,

Drought, high temperature, salinity and pests and diseases tolerance.

Mandatory literature

Poehlman John Milton 1910-; Breeding field crops. ISBN: 0-8138-2427-3

Teaching methods and learning activities

Lectures: exposure of themes based on the use of different supporting materials (slides, multimedia, internet).

Practical classes: exercises on selection efficiency. Discussion of scientific articles.


Natural sciences > Biological sciences > Biology > Applied biology

Evaluation Type

Evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Exame 100,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 60,00
Frequência das aulas 21,00
Total: 81,00

Eligibility for exams

Final examination.

Calculation formula of final grade

Final grade= Exame (20 valores) 

Examinations or Special Assignments


Internship work/project

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