Unit Code: AGR807

Unit Title: Plant Genetics & Breeding

The unit introduces students to Plant Genetics and Breeding.  It covers the basics of genetics including the role of DNA, RNA and proteins, mitosis, meiosis, and compares replication, transcription and translation between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Current sequencing technologies and advancements in technologies will be discussed. This knowledge will then be applied to plants. The different genetic stages of plants during their life cycle will be compared for common plants. The distinctive ability of plants to achieve polyploidy will also be covered. Heredity of alleles will be discussed with respect to Mendel’s findings as well as modern findings, discussing monohybrid, dihybrid, and multiple allele crosses. The unit will also discuss commonly used and modern advancements in reproduction and breeding procedures and their advantages. Examples will be used, especially examples from the Solomon Islands where possible, showing how breeding has led to benefits in agriculture such as improvements in size, taste, disease resistance, drought and salt tolerance, with respect to genetics. The unit will also cover the methodology and uses of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).