ORGANIC PLANT BREEDING AND SEED PRODUCTION

Course ID: PRO-SE>ORBRESE
Course title: ORGANIC PLANT BREEDING AND SEED PRODUCTION
Semester: 3 / Winter
ECTS: 4
Lectures/Classes: 15 / 30 hours
Field of study: Agriculture
Study cycle: 1st cycle
Type of course: optional
Prerequisites:
Contact person: dr inż. Sylwia Lewandowska sylwia.lewandowska@upwr.edu.pl
Short description: The main aim of this course is to present the most important information of plant breeding, seed production and legislation aspects connected with organic farming in EU Member States in order to develop sustainable cropping strategies in agriculture and horticulture. Ending the course will give the student possibility to work in the broad area of horticultural and agricultural breeding and seed production companies, biotechnological laboratories or seed inspection all over the Europe.
Full description: In recent years ecological agriculture, also known as organic farming, meets with wider social approval across Europe. In some EU countries organic production develops very intensively and is an alternative way for friendly environment. Many experts believe that this is one of many chances and solutions to make our agriculture more healthy. This is mainly because organic farming is based on conscious elimination of chemicals from agricultural production. It requires a lot of knowledge from various fields in order to maximize the use of natural values. Thanks to the course the students will absorb their knowledge on many organic farming aspects like: plant breeding and the meaning of biological progress in seed production; history and Polish achievements of plant breeding; the meaning of genetic variability in plant breeding and methods of its expansion; the use of different genetic mechanisms in plant crossing; the use of biotechnological methods, molecular markers, tissue cultures, transgenesis in organic plant breeding and seed production. Methods of breeding of self-pollinated and open-pollinated plants. Aims, directions and difficulties of organic plant breeding. The meaning of plant breeding for resistance. Conservation breeding varieties. New cultivated plants and preservation of genetic resources. The course is devoted for students who want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically following strict rules for organic plant breeding. Detailed profiles for each of the major crops and vegetables provide users with practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting, and processing seed for a wide range of common and specialty crops. The students will find extensive and all necessary information on plant breeding and seed production topics, including: the reproductive biology of crop plants, basic methods used for plant breeding and seed production, seed purity, seed-borne diseases, seed-cleaning, seed storage for farmers and more .
Bibliography: Literature, recommended books: Organic Seed Production and Saving: The Wisdom of Plant Heritage, 2011. By (author) Bryan Connolly. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables: In-Depth Techniques for Efficient Organic Production, from Seed to Market, 2017. By (author) Ben Hartman. Organic Dairy Production, 2011. By (author) Sarah Flack. The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer's Guide to Vegetable Seed Production, 2012. By (author) John Navazio. Seeds in Emergencies: A Technical Handbook, 2011. By (author) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Seed Libraries: And Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People, 2015. By (author) Cindy Conner. Whole Farm Planning: Ecological Imperatives, Personal Values, and Economics, 2011. By (author) Elizabeth Henderson, Karl North. Crop Rotation and Cover Cropping: Soil Resiliency and Health on the Organic Farm, 2011. By (author) Seth Kroeck. Organic Soil-Fertility and Weed Management, 2011. By (author) Steve Gilman. Seed Production of Field Crops, 2009. By (author) S. S. Mondal. Growing Healthy Vegetable Crops : Working with nature to control diseases and pests organically, 2011. By (author) Brian Caldwell. Pulses (English): Nutritious seeds for a sustainable future, 2016. By (author) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Learning outcomes: The student knows the basic techniques used in genetics and practical plant breeding. The participant of the course can describe characteristics of varieties and seed material adjusted to organic farming. The student understands basic processes leading to genetic variability and can define the role of variety, what affects the size, quality and yield stability. The participant understands dependences between kinds of varieties and the possibility of their reproduction. The student knows basic rules of law concerning varieties possession and seed reproduction in organic farming The student is able to acquire information from literature, databases, publications to connect, interpret and draw accurate conclusion in the aspect of organic plant breeding and seed production. The student has the ability to select appropriate varieties resistant to pathogens and pests, can determine the necessity of crop protection treatments. He or she has the ability to choose the best seed material of variety in order to plan a field experiment in particular soil and weather conditions. The student is aware of further education process in the field of the new methods of organic plant breeding and seed production and understands the need for learning throughout life in order to improve the skills acquired during the study. The student is responsible for his own work and teamwork, can work in a group. The student is aware of professional ethics and professional practice of his or her profession. The student understands the need for further training and improving professional competences and social ones.
Assessment methods and assessment criteria: - current activity during the classes - a test during the classes - oral discussion - differences between conventional and organic plant breeding and seed production - EU regulations in context of seed production - presentation during the classes on a given subject - preparing a draft by a student - a student is well prepared for the classes - the ability to work in team

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