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MPhil Plant Breeding and Biotechnology

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Price : 150.00 GHS

MPhil Plant Breeding and Biotechnology

Programme Rationale

Agriculture is impacted by the changing climate in a number of ways. The direct effects of the changing climate include increased heat and water stress. Other effects of climate change include changes in pests and diseases, crop yields, soil temperature and soil quality, and even changes in the nutritional quality of some food crops.Research has shown that future climate change will likely negatively affect crop production, mostly in the tropical regions of the world, especially in developing countries. It is also suggested that climate change will probably also increase the risk of food insecurity for some vulnerable groups, especially the poor.

With seventy per cent of Africa’s population relying on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods, it has been said that the continent is particularly vulnerable to climate change,

Innovative agricultural practices and technologies are therefore needed to mitigate these impacts and help agricultural systems and crop varieties adapt to the increasingly harsh climatic conditions. This need is most pronounced in developing countries including Ghana and other regions where agricultural productivity remains low, and poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity remain high. Creating the necessary agricultural technologies and harnessing them to enable developing countries adapt their agricultural systems to the changing climate is therefore a very pressing need now.

Aim
The course provides knowledge and skill for students wishing to undertake a career in plant breeding and crop biotechnology. The course is relatively new and would be beneficial in producing plant varieties that show potential in achieving food security in an increasingly harsh climatic condition with attendant socio-economic crisis. The course is unique in the sense that it will bring biotechnology and breeding to the fore in thetotal effort to make food and industrial crop production more robust and relatively more responsive to changes in the cropping environment.It aims to build capacity in the efficient use of biotechnological tools to bring about crop improvement, sustainable food and industrial crop productivity to enhance food security and poverty reduction.

Goal

The goal of this programme is to develop the necessary human capacity with the requisite knowledge and skills in modern trends in crop improvement techniques, and who will be able  to breed crops that are stable to biotic and abiotic stress conditions, and adapted to the different agro-ecological zones of the country.

Objectives

The students are expected to:

  • Acquire knowledge in the application of advanced crop improvement principles to breed crops adapted to the different agro-ecological zones of the country;
  • Use analytical methods to assess the stability of crops bred for biotic and abiotic stress conditions;
  • Understand genetic variation of tropical crops for genetic hybridization.
  •  Acquire practical skills for genetic manipulation and plant breeding, selection of appropriate breeding strategies, application of biotechnological tools (molecular and tissue culture) for crop improvement and production, application of molecular markers and their use in gene mapping and crop improvement
  • Understand the respective roles of producers, traders, consumers and governments in setting breeding goals (the value chain approach)
  • Demonstrate their ability to learn and conceptualize multiple theoretical and practical research tasks assigned to them.

Students’ admission and Target groups

Entry requirements:

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, Biological Sciences, Horticulture, Botany or related fields with at least a Second Class degree from an accredited university.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency: Applicants who have not been instructed in English at the undergraduate level must have a test score of at least 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

 

Programme Structure

The MPhil course in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology will include the following

Core courses:

Year 1        Semester 1                           

Code Course Title Credit Hours Credit Load
MPBB 601 Advanced Plant Breeding and Genetics * (2-3) 3
MPBB 603 Advanced Quantitative Genetics (3-0) 3
MPBB 605 Advanced Floral and reproductive biology (2-0) 2
MPBB 607 Crop Improvement (2-3) 3
MPBB 609 Biometry and Research methods (2-0) 2
MPBB 611 Basic Scientific Communication in French (1-3) 2
  Total    15

* Number of hours for Theory and Practicals respectively

Year 1        Semester 2     

Code Course Title Hours Credit Load
MPBB 602 Genomics and Bioinformatics (1-3) 2
MPBB 604 Principles and Methodology of Plant Tissue Culture (2-3) 3
MPBB 606 Molecular  Plant Breeding (1-0) 1
MPBB 608 Seminar 1 (2-0) 2
MPBB 610 Intermediate Scientific Communication in French (1-2) 2
  Total           10

The MPhil course in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology will include the following

Elective courses:

Year 1 Semester 1

Code Course Title Hours Credit Load
MPBB 613 Principles and Practices of Crop Physiology (2-0) 2
MPBB 615 Advanced Plant Pathology, Nematology, Virology (3-0) 3
  Total   5

 

Year 1 Semester 2

Code Course Title Hours Credit Load
MPBB 612 Climate change and its impact on crop production    (2-0) 2
MPBB 614 Advanced Entomology and Weed Science (2-0) 2
MPBB 616 Seed Science and Technology (3-0) 3
  Total   7
  • Elective courses should be selected in consultation with the Advisory

   Committee/Supervisor and the Head of Department.

Year 2

Course Title                                                                          Semester         Hours     Credit load                                         

MPBB 618         Industrial Training                           1                                                              2

MPBB 620           Seminar 2                                            1                          (1-3)                         2

MPBB 622         Thesis                                                                                                                   9

Total credits                                                                                                                                    13

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of this programme, students are expected to be able to:

  • Breed crops adapted to the different agro-ecological zones of the country;
  • Apply analytical methods to assess the stability of crops bred for biotic and abiotic stress conditions;
  • Apply their understanding of genetic variation of tropical crops in genetic hybridization.
  • Apply practical skills acquired in genetic manipulation for breeding appropriate crop varieties, selection of appropriate breeding strategies, molecular and tissue culture for crop improvement and production,
  • Apply  molecular markers in gene mapping and crop improvement
  • Understand and appreciate the respective roles of producers, traders, consumers and governments in setting breeding goals (value chain approach).
  • Exploit these technologies for a wide range of commercially important crops and horticultural plants.