Cerrar Mapa

Master in

Plant genetics, genomics and breeding

Next edition: 1st part: September 2023 – June 2024 / 2nd part: September 2024 – June 2025

Master in

Plant genetics, genomics and breeding

General information on the Unit

Contact hours: 18 (14 tutorial)
Personal work hours: 157
Character: Compulsory
Venue: Organized by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM Zaragoza)
- Developed during the first academic year of the Master.
- The assessment of this Unit is made through the drafting of the document and the presentation and public defence in front of a qualifying jury at the end of the second semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites.
Learning methods
The learning process is based on a tutored learning, theoretical and practical, guidance throughout the training and the reinforcement and monitoring of the student's attitudes.
Students may write the documents and deliver the oral presentations and defence in any of the three languages: Spanish, English or French.


Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

Throughout the first part of the Master, students carry out an individual project of a breeding programme, on a plant species of their choice applied to specific environmental and socio-economic conditions, normally those of their country of origin. This project allows students to: (i) apply the principles and methodology presented during the course; (ii) gain experience in finding technical and scientific information, as well as in the selective treatment of such information; (iii) make a critical assessment of different breeding alternatives; (iv) learn how to define and integrate the different components of a breeding programme; and (v) acquire experience in the preparation and presentation of oral communications and their public defence.



Specific competences

  • SC3 Assessing the importance of genetic resources as variability sources in breeding programmes, and commanding the appropriate processes for their collection, conservation, evaluation and use.
  • SC7 Assessing the relevant methods and techniques that contribute to greater efficiency in the processes of selection and development of new varieties, particularly molecular techniques aimed at the development of marker-assisted selection programmes.
  • SC8 Assessing the advantages and drawbacks of using different strategies and methodologies for improving tolerance/resistance to stress conditions from the perspective of improving the productivity, safety and quality of crops, ensuring the sustainability of agricultural systems.
  • SC9 Integrating the knowledge of plant physiology, biochemistry and pathology in a plant breeding programme.
  • SC10 Planning, developing and assessing specific programmes for breeding in different situations and environments, considering the available materials, the objectives set and the agronomic, environmental and socioeconomic constraints.
  • SC11 Having a good command of the national and international legislation concerning the registration of new varieties and the protection of the intellectual property rights and, in particular, breeder's rights and patents.
  • SC12 Assessing and comparing the processes of obtaining certified seeds and plants, and seed processing. Knowing the functioning of the seed marketing sector, as the final part of the breeding process.

General competences

  • GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
  • GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • GC4 Making decisions and generating new ideas and knowledge in complex systems.
  • GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
  • GC7 Communicating reasoning and conclusions both to a general audience and to a specialized public.
  • GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.

Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:

  • Applies the principles and methodology presented throughout the different units to tackle the design of a breeding project of a certain crop according to the particular environmental and socioeconomic conditions and to the established objectives.
  • Has experience in the search for technical and scientific information, as well as in its selective treatment.
  • Is able to define and integrate the different components of a breeding programme and to plan its implementation, critically assessing the various traditional and molecular alternatives available.
  • Possesses skills in the preparation of documents of synthesis and in the presentation of results.
  • Has gained experience in the preparation and delivery of oral communications and in their public defence.



Individual design of a plant breeding project chosen by the student. This training activity provides the student with practical experience on planning breeding programmes with certain objectives and which respond to specific agronomic, environmental, social and economic conditions, by applying the principles and methodology presented throughout the different units of the course.


Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Individual tutored work, delivered in a written document which must develop an applied breeding programme of a specific plant species under specific culture conditions.
ECTS: 5.5
Hours: 137.5
Percentage of contact: 10% contact with the tutors who advise on the different aspects of the project.

Learning activity 2: Preparation of an exposition, public presentation and oral defence of the plant breeding programme (including preparation of the presentation)
ECTS: 1.5
Hours: 37.5
Percentage of contact: 10%


Assessment methods

Assessment system 1: Assessment of the written document, by a jury composed by the scientific coordinator of the Master, course lecturers and external experts. The jury will value the following aspects from the written document: suitability of the plant breeding methodology applied; consistency of the project; originality of the project; writing and presentation of the text; relevance of the references used.
Weighting: 75% of the final score of the Unit

Assessment system 2: Assessment of the presentation and defence by the same jury that assesses the written document. The jury will ask the student the questions it deems appropriate. The assessment is based on the following aspects: (i) clarity of the exposition; (ii) relevance of the student's answers to the questions posed by the jury; (iii) adjustment to the time assigned.
Weighting: 25% of the final score of the Unit



Tutors of the projects

Ana GARCÉS, CITA-GA, Zaragoza (Spain)
Ernesto IGARTUA, CSIC-EEAD, Zaragoza (Spain)
María Ángeles MORENO, CSIC-EEAD, Zaragoza (Spain)


Marisol ARNEDO, Ramiro Arnedo Semillas, Almería (España)
Pere ARÚS, CRAG, Barcelona (Spain)
Jesús MORENO, CIAM, La Coruña (Spain)
Ignacio ROMAGOSA, UdL, Lleida (Spain)