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.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2015

Agroecosystem Science Master Information
Majors According
Major in Crop Science
Disciplinary Competences
Cropping Systems
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
751-4704-00LWeed Science IIW+2 credits2GB. Streit, N. Delabays, U. J. Haas
AbstractModern weed management comprises competent knowledge of weed biology, weed ecology, population dynamics, crop-weed-interactions and different measures to control weeds. Weeds are understood to be rather part of a habitat or a cropping system than just unwanted plants in crops.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course the students are qualified to develop sustainable solutions for weed problems in agricultural and natural habitats.
ContentModern weed management comprises competent knowledge of weed biology, weed ecology, population dynamics, crop-weed-interactions and different measures to control weeds. Weeds are understood to be rather part of a habitat or a cropping system than just unwanted plants in crops. Accordingly, this knowledge will be imparted during the course and will be required to understand the mechanisms of integrated weed control strategies.
751-3604-00LPlant Breeding
Does not take place this semester.
W+3 credits3GA. Hund, B. Boller, C. Grieder, R. Kölliker, B. Studer
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.
751-4106-00LCrop PhenotypingW4 credits4GA. Walter, A. Hund, J. Leipner, F. Liebisch
AbstractPhenotyping is mostly understood as a non-invasive, quantitative assessment of plant and organ morphology at different wavelengths. In this course, standard and customized phenotyping platforms and approaches are introduced and applied to characterize crop performance in the field and in the lab. The relevance of phenotyping for breeding, field management and precision agriculture is shown.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course you will know a range of different phenotyping methods and how to assess their utility for different issues. You also know the critical stages of individual crops and you can identify promising traits and phenotyping approaches that are appropriate to improve a crop or its management in the field.
ContentBasic knowledge in physiology, breeding and management of our major crops will be combined with concepts of inheritance, experimental design, crop modelling and abiotic stress. By lectures, discussions, and hands-on experiments, you will learn to use image-based phenotyping methods for a performance assessment of genotypes of a breeding population and to assess the efficiency of measures of field management.
Crops are exposed to different abiotic stress factors during their development. Adaptation of crops to extreme environmental conditions likely to be encountered in the course of the year (e.g. cold and heat stress; water-saturated or dry soils) has been achieved by plant breeding to a good extent. In many cases, however, there is enormous potential for optimization.
The most important mechanisms of plant adjustment towards stress will be explained, as well as critical stages identified in which stress affects yield most severely. You will learn methods by which the response of plants to environmental parameters is quantified non-destructively. You learn how to deal with the challenge of spatial variability in the field, when it is necessary to analyze a lot of genotypes. You will get to know different phenotyping methods in the field and under controlled conditions. An important parameter of analysis will be the measurement of the growth of roots and shoots and the response of this parameter to environmental stress. Moreover, you will apply thermography and multispectral image analysis as exemplary remote sensing methods and you will use these methods to calculate parameters such as canopy cover, water status and leaf greenness of individual plants or crop stands. Also, you will learn the use of chlorophyll fluorescence to assess the efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus.
751-3606-00LMolecular Plant BreedingW3 credits2GB. Studer, C. Grieder, A. Hund, R. Kölliker
AbstractMolecular tools have contributed significantly to improve the process of plant breeding throughout the last decades. The course Molecular Plant Breeding illustrates - on the basis of lectures, exercises and practical examples - the most important molecular breeding tools (QTL, association studies..) and how these tools are applied to plant breeding by means of marker-assisted or genomic selection.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course Molecular Plant Breeding you will be able to:
- design and statistically analyze genetic experiments for important characteristics such as repeatability, heritability, or least square means
- understand different molecular marker technologies and genotyping methods, and how the generated data can be used for genetic distance measures and multivariate statistics in experimental and natural populations
- use the most important molecular breeding tools such as genetic linkage mapping, QTL analysis, genome-wide association studies and to apply these tools to plant breeding by marker-assisted and genomic selection
- describe different sequencing technologies and strategies for genome sequencing, transcriptome profiling (RNAseq) and genotyping by sequencing
- apply basic bioinformatics tools for sequence data management and comparative genomics (BLAST, simple assemblies, alignments and gene annotations)
ContentThe course Molecular Plant Breeding is based on complementing lectures, exercises and practical examples. The examples cover a wide range of species and traits and will be taught by four different experts in the field. A detailed program including dates and specific contents will be provided by the end of 2014.
Lecture notesScripts and slides for each lecture and will be made available through eDoz.
LiteratureFor each lecture, additional literature covering the topic will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course will be held at Eschikon Field Station, where 12 computers will be available for exercises with R or - if necessary - other specific software packages. Attendance of the courses Pflanzenzüchtung and Plant Breeding II is recommended; basic understanding of R (as taught in Experimental Design and Applied Statistics in Agroecosystem Science) is advantageous.
751-4204-01LHorticultural Science (FS)W2 credits2GL. Bertschinger, R. Baur, C. Carlen
AbstractAfter an introduction (2h), lectures address 2 horticultural cropping systems and value chains, each one in 2 2h-lecture blocks. Afterwards, students split in 2 groups for addressing a case study focusing on one of the cropping systems treated before. An excursion to a research site might be included. In a final colloquium, each group presents a report on their case study and their conclusions.
ObjectiveAchieve a deepened understanding of horticultural value chain challenges related with ecological intensification, resource efficiency, climate change and healthy, safe food production, and the problem solution strategies and scientific principles behind.
Deliver in a team effort a report and presentation with a comprehensive insight into the studied problem and its science-based solution strategy.
ContentIn the autumn semester, the two addressed cropping systems and value chains are fruit-production and viticulture.
In the spring semester, the two addressed cropping systems and value chains are vegetable-production- and berry-production or glasshouse-horticulture.
The selected topics address challenges with regard to ecological intensification, resource efficiency or climate change and branch into on-going research and development projects.
Lecture notesDocuments handed out during the case studies.
LiteratureProvided by the case study leaders.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course builds on basic knowledge delivered by 'Horticultural Crops I & II' (BSc). If these courses have not been followed by interested participants, equivalent knowledge and experience will greatly support a successful and productive participation of the participating student.
Language: spoken E, G or F, Documents: Preferably English, G/F possible.
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