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Colorado State University online course on plant breeding for drought tolerance 2013

April 23, 2013

Colorado State University is this year again offering a one-credit, graduate-level online course in Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance from 26th August to 13th December, 2013. This course is targeted at graduate students in the plant sciences, as well as professionals in the public and private sectors interested in increasing their knowledge in this area. 


The 15-week curriculum is divided into 15 lessons, which students may view at their convenience each week. Each lesson’s content will be delivered via a voice-over PowerPoint presentation, a video, a reading assignment, or combinations of these media. There will be a comprehensive final exam administered during the week of December 16. The primary instructor is Dr. Patrick Byrne, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.

The course will focus on plant breeding strategies and practices aimed at improving plant performance under limited moisture. Concepts for the course include:

  • Analyzing the target environment
  • Understanding plant response to drought stress and plant adaptation strategies
  • Using wild species and landraces as sources of drought tolerance
  • Determining which phenotypic traits to use in selection practices
  • Detecting marker-trait associations for relevant traits
  • Understanding transgenic approaches to drought tolerance
  • Learning from successful examples of improving drought tolerance in a variety of crops

 Program Requirements and Costs

Participants are required to 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.

The cost of student tuition is US $549 plus a $20 technology fee. Students are required to have access to a computer and Internet access that meet the general CSU recommendations. Word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software  is required, as is Adobe Reader.


The deadline for applications is 1st August 2013, or until the class is full (20 students). To register for the course, click on this application form.

For more information click on Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance Online Course 2013. For queries contact the Program Assistant, Kierra Jewell.

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