Target Audience – This distance course is targeted to graduate students in the plant sciences, as well as to professionals in the public and private sectors. It will provide one transferable graduate-level credit.
Content – The course will focus on plant breeding strategies and practices directed toward improving plant performance under drought stress. Concepts for this intensive, one-credit graduate-level course include:
• Analyzing the target environment
• Understanding plant response to drought stress and plant adaptation strategies
• Determining which phenotypic traits to use in selection practices
• Using wild species and landraces as sources of drought tolerance
• Understanding transgenic approaches and quantitative trait locus analysis for improving drought tolerance
• Learning from successful examples of improving drought tolerance in a variety of crops
The sixteen-week curriculum is divided into fifteen lessons. Each lesson’s content will be delivered via a voice-over PowerPoint presentation, a video, a reading assignment, or combinations of these media. Some lessons will require student participation in an online discussion, completion of an online quiz, or submission of a homework assignment. The compiled homework assignments will comprise a portfolio of documents describing an analysis and breeding strategy for a specific crop and environment. There will be a comprehensive final exam administered at the end of the course.
Program Costs and Requirements – The cost of student tuition is $624 plus a $25 technology fee. Word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is required, as is Adobe Reader. Students are required to have access to a computer and Internet access.
Registration and Information – For questions, please contact the program assistant, Kierra Jewell, at email@example.com. Registrations will be accepted through September 4, 2017 or until the class is full (25 students).
SOCR 330 (Principles of Genetics); SOCR 460 (Plant Breeding). Participants should have a basic understanding of genetics, plant breeding, and plant physiology. Prior to the beginning of the course, students will review online material on these topics to provide a common background in breeding and physiology concepts.
Students not wishing to earn academic credit should register for the noncredit course AGCT 3570.
Dr. Patrick Byrne is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University, where he teaches and conducts research in plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology. His research focuses on the genetics of drought tolerance and bread making quality in wheat, yield and oil content in Brassica oilseed crops, and disease resistance in common bean. He has also conducted research on the benefits and risks of genetically engineered crops. Before coming to CSU in 1997, Dr. Byrne worked for USDA-ARS in Columbia, Missouri, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, the U.S. Agency for International Development in West Africa, and the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal.