From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

751-3604-00L  Plant Breeding

SemesterSpring Semester 2015
LecturersA. Hund, B. Boller, C. Grieder, R. Kölliker, B. Studer
Periodicityyearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish

Catalogue data

AbstractSuccessful plant breeding requires knowledge of genetics, the methods to detect genetic variation and to utilize it for selection. The course builds on the course "Pflanzengenetik" and illustrates these basics by means of exercises and practical examples. This will be complemented by lessons in molecular breeding and latest developments in genotyping and phenotyping.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course you will be able to design, assess and analyze variety test experiments. You will have basic knowledge on phenotyping and genotyping technologies, and know how to connect this information for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and association analysis. Furthermore, you will be able to assess relationships among genotypes by means of multivariate statistics (e.g. cluster analysis) using genetic and phenotypic information.
ContentThe course is organized in the following three modules:
Module 1: Phenotyping of plant breeding experiments in the field phenotyping platform (FIP) at Eschikon Field Station.
Module 2: Statistical evaluation of the assessed data in R
Module 3: Molecular breeding
The course will be held at Eschikon Field Station, where 12 computers will be available for exercises with R.
We will observe the development of crops planted in the unique filed phenotyping platform. The field part includes two full days (July 02/03) during the summer semester break. The dates are chosen to allow you assessing buckwheat and wheat plants at stages of development, when meaningful measurements can be taken. In case somebody can't attend the course at these two days for justified reasons, we will seek for an alternative exercise.
During the course, we will have a closer look at wheat and buckwheat.
In wheat, we aim to teach the basic skills of phenotyping of plant development. You will assess the development using the simple scoring method, to train your breeder's eyes. Furtheremore, you will use sensors and indices used in the novel Field Phenotyping Platform (FIP), such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), thermography and multispectral sensing. At the end of the course you will be able to judge the advantages of the "NDV-eye" vs. your Breeder's eye.
With Buckwheat we aim to establish a breeding program at ETH which is mainly operated by students. Here we need your enthusiasm, experience and input in order to succeed. You will score different traits of agronomic importance during the field day in summer. At the end of the course you should be able to pick the best varieties to make crosses for a planned breeding program organized by you and your fellow students of subsequent semesters.
In the statistical part of the course (module 2), you will learn how to process your data using the statistic package R and ASREML-R. For example, you will use the data assessed in module 1 to calculate heritabilities by means of analysis of variance. This part requires a basic understanding of R as taught in "Experimental Design and Applied Statistics in Agroecosystem Science" as well as of quantitative genetics as taught in "Pflanzengenetik". However these courses are not mandatory to enroll in plant breeding.
In the third module, you will learn about the genetic toolbox that is available for molecular breeding. Starting with the latest developments in DNA marker and genotyping technologies, the basic principles of genetic linkage mapping and QTL analysis will be illustrated. Novel breeding concepts such as genomic selection or breeding by design will be explained, discussed and evaluated for their potential to accelerate breeding progress in different crop species.
Prerequisites / NoticeYou need a Basic understanding of R as taught in "Experimental Design and Applied Statistics in Agroecosystem Science" as well as quantitative genetics as taught in "Pflanzengenetik". However these courses are not mandatory to enroll in plant breeding.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersA. Hund, B. Boller, C. Grieder, R. Kölliker, B. Studer
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


751-3604-00 GPlant Breeding
Does not take place this semester.
Durchführung Freitag 10 - 12 Uhr in Eschikon FMG + Blockkurs
3 hrsA. Hund, B. Boller, C. Grieder, R. Kölliker, B. Studer


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Agroecosystem Science MasterCropping SystemsW+Information
Agroecosystem Science MasterEnvironmental Crop PhysiologyWInformation