Introduction to Quantitative Genetics

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This course introduces the basic principles and concepts of quantitative genetics that are important for understanding genetic improvement in breeding populations and how to make more effective selection decisions. It is intended for anyone with a basic understanding of genetics and statistics who wishes to learn how to utilize quantitative genetic principles to improve the efficiency of plant breeding programs. Through a series of recorded lectures and quizzes, participants will be able to learn at their own pace and on their own time.

Course Objectives

  • Be able to differentiate between quantitative and Mendelian traits
  • Understand the basic principles of quantitative trait inheritance and resemblance between relatives
  • Understand the concept of genetic gain and the factors that affect rates of genetic gain from breeding
  • Understand the concept of ‘breeding value’ and its importance for plant breeding
  • Become familiar with the methods used to estimate breeding values

Course Content

  • Inheritance of quantitative traits
  • Definition of breeding value and its importance in plant breeding
  • Genetic gain from selection and the ‘Breeder’s Equation’
  • Estimating breeding values

Prerequisite

Introductory genetics and statistics courses