PBA in Davis – Class VIII

Applications are currently being accepted for PBA Class VIII

 

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The Seed Biotechnology Center at the University of California, Davis has organized a professional development course to teach the principles of plant breeding to seed industry personnel. This two-year course addresses the reduced numbers of plant breeders being trained in academic programs. Participants meet at UC Davis for six sessions over two years. Readings and exercises continue between sessions online to allow participants to maintain their current positions while being involved in the course. 

Course goal: This course develops the skills and abilities of current industry personnel to enable them to become independent breeders or more valuable contributors to larger breeding programs.

Who should attend? The course is targeted toward personnel currently involved in plant breeding programs who lack the academic background in genetics theory and practice to advance as independent breeders. Current breeders who desire a refresher course or would like to broaden their expertise would also be potential participants.

Class Location & Dates:

All six sessions of the PBA VIII course will take place in Davis, California, mostly on the UC Davis campus. 

Due to COVID-19 delays, instruction for Class VIII of the Plant Breeding Academy will begin in February 2022 and the class will graduate in September 2023.

Revised PBA VIII Dates:

2022
February 7-12, 2022
June 6-11, 2022
September 12-17, 2022

2023
February 6-11, 2023
June 5-10, 2023
September 11-15, 2023

 

Application & Tuition:

Application Process: To provide a personalized learning environment, the program is limited to 20 participants. Applicants should complete the online form and separately email a resume in order to be considered for enrollment. Applicants' background and experience will be reviewed to ensure they meet the minimal requirements before acceptance. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science degree (or demonstrate equivalent professional experience) and have taken introductory courses in statistics and genetics. Practical experience, academic standing (GPA or equivalent) and rationale for participation in the Academy will be evaluated. Among applicants meeting the program requirements, acceptance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Acceptance is not secured until paperwork is signed and the deposit is received.

UPDATE: Due to date changes, the early registration discount has been extended to September 1, 2021. 

Tuition: (All pricing is in United States Dollar) Tuition is $24,000 per participant for the two-year program ($23,000 with the early registration discount, if accepted before September 1, 2021). Tuition includes all course materials and fees.  Lunches and breaks during residence in Davis are provided.  Travel, accommodations and other meals during in-residence sessions are not included.  A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 will be due within 30 days of acceptance into the Academy. After the deposit, tuition is split into two payments, each totaling $11,000 for early registration or $11,500 for regular registration. The first year tuition will be invoiced in Fall 2021 and due in January 1, 2022. The second year tuition will be invoiced in Spring 2023 and due in August 1, 2023.  No refunds will be issued after each payment is received.  Payment procedures will be provided to applicants following acceptance into the Academy.  

PBA Instructors & Curriculum:

Instructors: Primary instructors will teach the core of the course and speakers who are specialists in specific topics will be invited. All are recognized leaders in their fields.

Primary instructors:
Dr. Jovan Djordjevic (UC Davis)
Dr. Rita Mumm (U of Illinois)
Dr. Todd Wehner (NC State)
Dr. Allen Van Deynze (UC Davis)
Dr. Kent Bradford (UC Davis)

Invited speakers (partial list):

  • Dr. Richard Michelmore (UC Davis)
  • Dr. Paul Gepts (UC Davis)
  • Dr. David Francis (Ohio State)
  • Dr. Jim Holland (NC State)
  • Dr. David Stelly (Texas A&M)
  • Dr. Dave Douches (Michigan State Univeristy)

Curriculum: The curriculum is being developed by instructors with input from industry leaders. The following topics will be covered:

Introduction to plant breeding

  • Plant breeding objectives
  • Germplasm resources and pools
  • Crop evolution
  • Reproductive systems

Statistics

  • Distributions and Probabilities
  • Mean separation, t-tests
  • Sources of variation
  • Analysis of variance
  • Multiple mean separations
  • Advanced designs: unbalanced, non-replicated and augmented

Genetics

  • Transmission genetics
  • Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium
  • Inbreeding coefficients
  • Quantitative genetics model
  • Inbreeding depression and hybrid vigor

Selection theory

  • Principles of selection and the gain equation
  • Heritability and extensions to relevant selection models
  • Use of block corrections in selection

Recombination and population development

  • Selection limits
  • Linkage drag
  • Recombination in inbred lines and populations
  • Polyploidy
  • Interspecific hybridization
  • Population size

Establishing and monitoring goals and priorities

  • Population improvement vs cultivar development
  • Minimum standards, intermediate optima, and directional response

Breeding methods 1

  • Line Breeding: bulk, pedigree, backcross

Selection methods 1

  • Single trait selection: mass selection, line selection, multiple stage selection

Breeding methods 2

  • Population improvement
  • Inbred line development
  • Evaluating hybrids and combining ability

Selection methods 2

  • Multiple trait selection: independent culling, tandem selection,  selection indices
  • Indirect selection methods: theory
  • Linkage disequilibrium
  • Indirect selection methods: conventional breeding

Breeding with Molecular Markers

  • Bases and availability of markers
  • Population structure
  • Parental selection
  • QTL
  • Bioinformatics/Databases
  • Marker assisted selection and backcrossing
  • Genome assisted breeding

Genotype by environment interactions

  • GxE and decisions in population development
  • Genetic correlation: treatment of GxE
  • Selection environment: single vs multiple environments
  • Designs to control GxE
  • Variance component analysis

Breeding systems

  • Breeding for hybrids
  • Genetic control of pollination: sex expression, self-incompatibility, male sterility
  • Breeding cultivars
  • Breeding clones
  • Breeding populations (synthetics)

Resistance breeding

  • Diseases
  • Insects
  • Abiotic stress

Special topics

  • Mutation breeding
  • Biotechnology (transgenic)
  • Mechanization
  • Off season nurseries
  • Data management

Finishing varieties

  • Cultivars vs hybrids
  • Protecting varieties and intellectual property.

If you have specific questions about the PBA curriculum, please reach out to Education Director, Jovan Djordjevic at jdjordjevic@ucdavis.edu 

 

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