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The objective of this subject is to introduce students to the concepts of genetics and the effects of genetic variation and selection used to propagate valuable heritable trait combinations in crop plants and farm animals.
Topics covered include - Historical background around (origin) genetics, nature of variation, cell structure and cell division, early concepts of inheritance, Mendel's laws, chromosomal theory of inheritance, Quantitative genetics, Gene interactions, Major genes, Sex determination, differentiation and sex-linkage, Sex influenced and sex-limited traits, linkage-detection, estimation, recombination and genetic mapping, Population genetics, Frequencies of genes and genotypes, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Molecular genetics, Gene expression and Central Dogma (DNA to RNA to protein), Genotyping and Genomic selection, Genetic defects and DNA testing, Conventional plant and animal improvement, Genotype and Environment interactions, genetic modification, implications of biotechnology to agricultural sustainability.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject student should be able to understand:
- basic mechanisms of inheritance, recombination and mutation LO2 the linkage between genotype
- the linkage between genotype and phenotype
- the interactions between genotype and environment
- the implications of genetic change in biological systems
- the principles and extension of Mendelian genetics in plant and animal breeding
- the application of both conventional and molecular breeding, and outline the social and regulatory issues relating to recombinant DNA technology in an agricultural context
- the application of range of genetic tools (including genomic technologies) used for the design of breeding strategies to improve plant and animal populations
- the constraints to production gain using genetic selection programmes
- Demonstrate critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills
- Record observations, analyse and interpret scientific data
- Statistically analyse genetic data
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific data effectively in both written and verbal formats
Last updated: 20 September 2021