AGRI4404 Breeding and Animal Biotechnology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Agricultural Science [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Genes are the backbone of life, and animal and plant improvement is based on knowledge of applied genetics. This unit allows students to extend their knowledge and interest in genetics in the applied field of animal improvement. Whether the focus of study is on genetic conservation in native plants and animals, or genetic improvement in domesticated plants and animals, the principles are the same. The unit provides a very sound foundation in genetics theory and principles that are applicable to any genetic system. Students also study advanced molecular genetics and at the conclusion of the unit, are able to make sound judgements on the value of traditional animal breeding, genetic engineering or molecular genetic markers in animal improvement. Employers are very interested in finding graduates with understanding of the genetic principles behind animal breeding, genetically modified organisms and modern DNA technologies.
Students are able to (1) make sound judgements on methods and ethical or commercial questions involving animal breeding, evolutionary genetics and DNA technology in animal improvement; (2) communicate in written and oral form an understanding of the principles of animal breeding based on research into one aspect of animal breeding; (3) critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to animal breeding and their relevance to different breeds; and (4) demonstrate awareness of scientific methodology for understanding genetic systems in written reports from practical sessions.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) examination; (2) practical reports; and (3) assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Philip Vercoe
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (72510)
the Master of Biotechnology (71580)
the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Advisable prior study:
GENE2250 Principles of Inheritance
AGRI4405 Breeding and Plant Biotechnology, GENE3303 Genetics and Animal Breeding, GENE8303 Genetics and Animal Breeding, GENE3310 Genetics and Plant Breeding, GENE8310 Genetics and Plant Breeding
Contact hours
The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.