Plant Genetics and Crop Improvement

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Biological Sciences


This M.Sc draws upon expertise in BIO and JIC and includes input to the taught and research components by UK and multinational breeding companies. This provides an opportunity to study plant genetics and crop improvement in an environment of academic and research excellence. In common with other M.Sc programmes students require 180 credits during their period of study. The taught modules make up 120 credits, and the laboratory-based research project 60 credits. All components are compulsory M-level modules. A brief description of these modules and their major learning objectives are described below. Further details can be found in the Programme Specification. (N.B. odd-numbered modules are in the autumn semester, even-numbered in the spring semester; modules ending in 'Y' are year-long). BIO-M82Y Post graduate training programme (10 credits) - provides students with training in key transferable skills to assist their learning and career development including; scientific writing, presentation skills, utilisation of IT-based resources and science communication. BIO-M109 Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics (10 credits)- M-level introduction to molecular biology and genetics in pro- and eukaryotes, investigating the genomes of model organisms, analysing gene function and expression, and the use of bioinformatics in genome evolution studies. This module forms the foundation for more in-depth coverage of these topics later in the course. BIO-M637 Practical Class (10 credits)- provides students with training in laboratory practical and technical skills for biotechnology and molecular biology. BIO-M107 Biofuel biotechnology (10 credits)- covers research into use of microbial fermentation products of plant material and the production of microalgae as an energy source, with applications being developed for biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, methane and hydrogen. This is a new module which addresses the need for replacing petrochemical fuels. BIO-M621 Plant Breeding (20 credits)- covers the principles of conventional plant breeding including Mendelian, population and quantitative genetics; the theory and application of marker assisted breeding and selection. Covers biotechnology and the use of doubled haploids in plant breeding, selection procedures, the principles and application of heterosis, and hybrid breeding in a range of UK crop plants. BIO-M112 Plant Genomics and Biotechnology (20 credits)- plant genetics and biotechnology have played a significant role in understanding fundamental aspects of plant biology, and will play a central role in crop improvement in the future. This module covers the theory and practical applications of plant molecular genetics, plant genomics and transformation technologies in both model and crop plants. BIO-M114 Target Traits for Crop Improvement (20 credits)- crop improvement will require varieties expressing novel traits, either using conventional breeding or by genetic modification. These traits include interactions with microbes that cause disease and symbiotic interactions for nutrient acquisition. Other traits include tolerance to abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, and extremes of temperature, and crops with enhanced nutritional quality. This module investigates the genetic basis underlying a large number of key traits and the strategies for introducing them into crop plants. BIO-M116 Research project plan (20 credits)- individual work carried out by the student under supervision of the research project supervisor. Involves an extensive study of current literature related to the research project (BIO-M70X), the formulation of hypotheses, and experimental design. Linked with BIO-M70X where students conduct research, analyse research data, and critically assess their hypotheses. BIO-M70X Laboratory research project (60 credits)- a six month laboratory research project conducted under the supervision of a principal investigator at JIC, the Sainsbury Laborator



Colwyn Martin Thomas (Principal Investigator)
Michael Webster Bevan (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Stanislav Kopriva (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Kay Trafford (Researcher Co-Investigator)
John Turner (Researcher Co-Investigator)
George Peter Lomonossoff (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lesley Ann Boyd (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Philippe Vain (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Matthew James Gage (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Kay Yeoman (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ane Sesma (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Christopher Ridout (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Philip Anthony Wigge (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Thomas Henry Ellis (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Mark John Coleman (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Helen James (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Alison Smith (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Trevor Leon Wang (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Silvia Costa (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Richard Peter Bowater (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Nadia Al-Kaff (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Tamas Dalmay (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Margaret Irene Boulton (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Cristobal Uauy (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Rachel Wells (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Wendy Harwood (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Charles Alistair Brearley (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
David Laurie (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Cathie Martin (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Claire Domoney (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Vera Thole (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Judith Ann Irwin (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Anne Osbourn (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Paul Nicholson (Researcher Co-Investigator)
John Hugh Doonan (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Graham Moore (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lars Ostergaard (Researcher Co-Investigator)
James Kenneth Brown (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Gabriella Kelemen (Researcher Co-Investigator)
John Snape (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Colin Morgan (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Michael James Ambrose (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Simon Griffiths (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jonathan Howard Clarke (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Michael James Naldrett (Researcher Co-Investigator)


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