Quantitative methods in plant breeding

There are no plans to run any courses for the foreseeable future.

Statistics, computation and data handling, trial design and analysis, population genetics, quantitative genetics, linkage analysis, association mapping, genomic selection, marker assisted selection

Targeted at both existing and prospective plant breeders from across the world, this annual two-week intensive postgraduate level training course aims to update practitioners on the role and application of statistical and quantitative genetics in practical plant breeding programmes.

Originally devised at NIAB by Professor Ian Mackay and first run in 2008, this course is the only intensive training programme of its kind to provide the statistical and genetic background to the wide spectrum of quantitative methods, traditional and new, relevant to plant breeding – from practical trial design and analysis through to the role of modern data analysis approaches in genomic selection and association genetics.

Course content:

  • Revision/refresher:  basic statistics and genetics
  • Statistics:   regression, ANOVA, statistical software
  • Trial design and analysis: principles of good design, blocking, spatial analysis
  • The mixed model:  variance components, REML, BLUPs and BLUEs
  • Population genetics:  single and multiple locus disequilibrium
  • Quantitative genetics:  selection theory, breeding programme design, genotype x environment interaction
  • Linkage analysis:  QTL, Genetic maps, alternative mapping populations
  • Association mapping:  population structure and methods for its control
  • Genomic selection:  application in plant breeding
  • Marker assisted selection: strengths, weaknesses, methods