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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 51 No. 6, p. 2325-2336
    OPEN ACCESS
     
    Received: Mar 10, 2011
    Published: Nov, 2011


    * Corresponding author(s): fbliss@dcn.org
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2011.03.0137

Plant Breeding Graduate Education: Opinions about Critical Knowledge, Experience, and Skill Requirements from Public and Private Stakeholders Worldwide

  1. Shelby L. Repinskia,
  2. Kathryn N. Hayesc,
  3. Jamie K. Millerb,
  4. Cary J. Trexlerc and
  5. Fredrick A. Bliss *a
  1. a Dep. of Plant Sciences, One Shields Ave., Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616
    c School of Education, One Shields Ave., Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616
    b Seed Biotechnology Center, One Shields Ave., Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616

Abstract

Plant breeders play a critical role in crop improvement, yet recent studies have shown that there may not be enough skilled breeders to meet current and future demands. A survey of three expert stakeholders groups, public breeders from developed countries (PUB), private breeders from developed countries (PRI), and breeders from developing countries (DEV), was conducted to determine what knowledge, experiences, and skills plant breeding students should have at completion of a graduate degree. All groups recognized knowledge of plant breeding, statistics, and genetics, as well as experiences and skills in practical breeding, experimental design, and field work as important. In addition, DEV and PUB stakeholders rated plant genetic resources and plant diversity, germplasm management, scientific communication, and field visits as important, and they emphasized interdisciplinary work, leadership, and teamwork. Each sector also highlighted unique needs. The DEV sector emphasized policy and law and regulatory, and the PUB sector placed importance on extension and skills in lab techniques, assessing genetic diversity, and using genomic information. The PRI sector emphasized knowledge about biotechnology and seed business and experience in experimental design, and computer database and program management. Reassessment of plant breeding education programs should incorporate new scientific knowledge and emerging technologies while retaining core knowledge and essential practices and skills.

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