Skoltech Digital Agro
Modern Plant Breeding Workshop
3 ECTS in MSc & PhD Life Sciences – Prof Cécile Ben
This teaching unit is built around "The Plant Breeding Project", a common thread throughout the course carried out by 'plant breeders teams' (typically 2-3 students). This project focuses on the genetic improvement of a crop for agronomic traits of interest. The goal is to propose a strategy for improving the species for the considered traits and to discuss the possible alternatives.
To do so, the students will analyse real large-scale phenotypic and genomic data sets while implementing suitable and detailed bio-statistical and quantitative genetic methods and relying on scientific publications presenting the most up-to-date and groundbreaking AgBioTechs available for the studied crop.
"Resources" course and hands-on, allowing a concrete application of the concepts taught in the context of case studies, will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying out the project. These sessions will deal with the analysis of Genotype X Environment X Management (GXEXM) interaction, landscape genomics, genomic selection, envirotyping, and other prospective and groundbreaking approaches in plant breeding such as high-throughput (HT) phenomics, plant breeding digitalization, ...
Creativity sessions using design thinking methods (e.g. group brainstorming) will make it possible to reflect on the challenges, needs, and avenues of innovation for the crop and agri sector concerned, as well as on the definition of key selection targets, strategy and possible alternatives that can be implemented for a program to improve the plant species considered.
Course team
Laurent Gentzbittel