Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Crop Biotechnology
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Tutorial 11 x 1 Hour Tutorials
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 3 x 2 Hour Practicals
Oral 2 x 2 Hour Orals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Case study report  (3,000 words)  35%
Semester Assessment Oral presentation with slides or other AV aids  (20 minutes)  5%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Students must retake assessments that led to failure of the module.  60%
Supplementary Assessment Students must retake assessments that led to failure of the module.  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Scope the challenges facing crop breeding and evaluate how recombinant DNA technologies can be integrated for genetic improvement.

2. Demonstrate a practical knowledge of modern biotechnology and the methods by which plant genomes can be manipulated and edited.

3. Describe and critically discuss the issues of GMO regulations, risk assessment and the commercialization of new plant varieties made with modern biotechnology.

4. Effectively communicate (both verbally and in writing) the outcomes of a case study into a real or hypothetical biotechnology product.

Brief description

This module will introduce students to the scientific principles underlying the development of a biotech crop. It will provide an understanding of the concepts of recombinant DNA technology and how this can be applied to commercial biotechnology. The module covers three main topics: the rationale for using biotechnology as a crop breeding tool and how it integrates with traditional methods; the key steps needed to produce genetically-improved (including genome-edited) crop plants; and the various regulatory and risk-assessment considerations for commercialization.


To include:
Limitations of conventional breeding and concepts of reverse genetics, gene pools, pros & cons of engineering different plant genomes and using up-regulation; silencing; HIGS, gene editing; grafting, reverse breeding; RdDM; sprayable RNAi; sentinel plants.
Totipotency, plasticity and plant regeneration via embryogenesis and organogenesis. Methods for DNA transfer (including biological (virus, agrobacterium etc); physical (gene gun, whiskers, electroporation etc) and chemical (PEG etc) approaches. Different types of recombinant DNA /RNA constructions for transformation; gene editing; reverse breeding; grafting; RdDM, cisgenesis, intragenesis etc.
Overview of current global cultivation and consumption of GM crops/food; time-lines for commercial research and development; future trends; new traits; gene stacking; new biotechnologies; gene editing; risk assessment; regulation, co-existence and labelling.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students will give an oral presentation and will respond to questions from staff and peers.
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology Students will have the opportunity to develop their IT skills in the preparation of reports and presentations.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Some practicals and tutorials will include elements of problem-solving.
Research skills Students will be required to use electronic and library resources to research information for preparation of case study.
Subject Specific Skills Practical sessions will provide an opportunity for development of subject-specific skills.
Team work Practicals will provide an opportunity for working in small teams.


This module is at CQFW Level 7