AGRI4410 Breeding and Biotechnology

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Agricultural Science [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Genes are the backbone of life, and plant improvement is based on the knowledge of applied genetics and supported by modern biotechnologies. This unit allows students to extend their knowledge and interest in genetics in the applied field of plant improvement and biotechnology. Whether the focus of study is in genetic conservation in native plants or genetic improvement in domesticated plants and animals, the principles are the same. The unit provides a very sound foundation in evolutionary genetics theory and principles that are applicable to any genetic system. Students also study biotechnologies that support modern breeding programs, and at the conclusion of the unit, are able to make sound judgements on the value of 'traditional' plant breeding, genetic engineering or molecular genetic markers in crop improvement.
Students are able to (1) make sound judgements on how to apply breeding and biotechnological methods to plant improvement; (2) communicate in written and oral form their understanding of a real life example of plant breeding; (3) critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to plant breeding and biotechnology, and their relevance to different crops; 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) seminar. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor William Erskine
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (72510) or the Master of Biotechnology (71580) or Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004) (HON-BOTNY) Botany or (HON-CONBI) Conservation Botany
Advisable prior study:
GENE2250 Principles of Inheritance or equivalent
AGRI4404 Breeding and Animal Biotechnology, GENE3303 Genetics and Animal Breeding, GENE8303 Genetics and Animal Breeding, GENE3310 Genetics and Plant Breeding, GENE8310 Genetics and Plant Breeding
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practicals: 3 hours per week for 12 weeks
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.