Module Information

Module Identifier
BDM5820
Module Title
Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Distance Learning
External Examiners
  • Professor Richard J Murphy (Professor - University of Surrey)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Forum posts  : Minimum of 10 individual posts per student with a total word count of approximately 1500 words.  25%
Semester Assessment Report  : on the potential of transgenic technology to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems. Report length: 2,500 words.  40%
Semester Assessment Presentation  : give an overview of the breeding strategy of a given plant or animal utilised in ruminant systems. Presentation length: 20 minutes.  35%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to the failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Evaluate the relative limitations and merits of different technologies for crop and animal improvement.

2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of genetic inheritance of traits and the methods utilised for reporting genetic merit.

3. Discuss in detail the relative importance of genotype and environment in the inheritance of metric traits.

4. Evaluate scientific, practical and ethical issues in the application of genetics to animal and plant improvement.

Brief description

This module will consider in detail the fundamental genetic principles which underpin both traditional and modern breeding programs. The role of emerging technologies to drive sustainability in both crop and animal systems will be considered, along with the wider social implications of adopting such technologies.
Through the distance learning programme students will learn about current research being carried out in IBERS and NIAB-TAG. This will have a significant impact on the precise module content.

Aims

The aim of this module is to consider in detail the principles and practices underpinning the development of animal breeds and new crop varieties. The underlying genetic principles utilised in modern breeding programs will be explored, as well as the use of genetic technologies. Students will benefit significantly from the research being conducted in this area in-house at IBERS and NIAB-TAG and so have the opportunity to learn about the advances at the forefront of agriculture.

Content

This module will comprise 20 hrs of formal input and will cover the following areas:
  • Domestication of agricultural species
  • Basic concepts of genetics
  • Modern breeding methodologies
  • Trait evaluation and reporting
  • Marker assisted selection and next generation
  • Genetic technology
  • Agricultural Genetics and Society
  • Future prospects
The module will feature a range of lectures, interviews with key researchers and some film material that will teach students about current advances in animal and crop genetics. The fundamental principles of each of topic will be conveyed to the student in a lecture format. In addition, key research publications and interviews with researchers will form the basis of a 'case study' which will demonstrate how research is driving innovation in each area.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be required to examine and synthesize quantitative data from a range of publications and databases (eg. FAOSTAT) in their assignments.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments and in regular forum posts.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work and in the forum assessment.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication databases.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will provide the students with the latest research into genetics to help them provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the agri-food industry.
Problem solving Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills, through use of questions that present theoretical problems for the students to solve.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and work towards their assignment and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills The underlying genetics of both animal and plant breeding programs and the application of genetic technology.
Team work Students will be required to work together to complete the assessed online forum.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7