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Genetics & Breeding of Vegetable Crops hos 5242 Course Description

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Genetics & Breeding of Vegetable Crops

HOS 5242

Course Description: Traditional and molecular breeding methods for vegetable crops and the influence of scientific research, government policies, and consumer preferences on vegetable crop improvement.
Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Apply traditional and molecular breeding methods for the enhancement of vegetable crops.

  • Interpret how plant breeding, scientific research, genetic diversity, germplasm resources and conservation, government policies, and consumer preferences can affect vegetable crop improvement programs.

  • Design and present a vegetable breeding and research program that meets specific and long-term goals.


Eileen A. Kabelka

Assistant Professor
Horticultural Sciences Department
Office: (352) 392-3182
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 2-4pm, or by appointment.
Prerequisites: AGR 3303 or equivalent
Credit hours: 3
Frequency: Offered Fall semester in even numbered years
Meeting Times: MWF, 12:50 - 1:40 p.m. (period 6)
Location: PSF-4 (Plant Science Facility, located behind Fifield Hall)
Course format: Lecture, discussion and student presentations
Text: There is no required textbook for this course.
Required Assigned Readings:
Asins, M.J. 2002. Present and future of quantitative trait locus analysis in plant breeding. Plant Breeding, 121:281-291.
Farinho, P. Coelho, J. Carlier, D. Svetleva, A. Monteiro and J. Leitao. 2004. Mapping a locus for adult plant resistance to downy mildew in broccoli (Brassica oleracea convar. italica). Theor. Appl. Genet. 109:1392-1398.
Fehr, W. Principles of Cultivar Development, Vol. 1. Macmillian Publishing Company. UF Science Library, General Collection, SB123 O725 1987.
Gaskell, G., N. Allum, M. Bauer and W. Wagner. 2008. Biotechnology and the European Public. Nature Biotechnology, 18:935-938.
Holland, J.B. 2004. Implementation of molecular markers for quantitative traits in breeding programs - challenges and opportunities. Proceedings of the 4th International Crop Science Congress, 1-13.
Jeuken, M.J.W and P. Lindhout. 2004. The development of lettuce backcross inbred lines (BILs) for exploitation of the Lactuca saligna (wild lettuce) germplasm. Theor. Appl. Genet. 109:394-401.
Mohan, M., S. Nair, A. Bhagwat, T.G. Kirshna, M. Yano, C.R. Bhatia and T. Sasaki. 1997. Genome mapping, molecular markers and marker-assisted selection in crop plants. Molecular Breeding. 3:87-103.
Priest, S.H. 2000. US public opinion divided over biotechnology? Nature Biotechnology, 18:939-942.
Rao, G.U., A.B. Chaim, Y. Borovsky and I. Paran. 2003. Mapping of yield-related QTLs in pepper in an interspecific cross of Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens. Theor. Appl. Genet. 106:1457-1466.
Ribaut, J.M and D. Hoisington. 1998. Marker-assisted selection: new tools and strategies. Trends in Plant Science, 3(6):236-239.
Rommens, C.M. 2004. All-native DNA transformation: a new approach to plant genetic engineering. Trends in Plant Science, 9(9):1360-1385.
Sakata, Y., N. Kubo, M. Morishita, E. Kitadani, M. Sugiyama and M. Hirai. 2006. QTL analysis of powdery mildew resistance in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Theor. Appl. Genet, 112:243-250.
Sankula, S. G. Marmon and E. Blumenthal. 2005. Biotechnology-derived crops planted in 2004 - Impacts on US agriculture. National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy,
Shi, M.M. 2001. Enabling large-scale phymacogenetic studies by high-throughput mutation detection and genotyping technologies. Clinical Chemistry, 47(2):164-172.
Tiwari, K.R., G.A. Penner and T.D. Warkentin. Identification of coupling and repulsion phase RAPD markers for powdery mildew resistance gene er-1 in pea. Genome, 41:440-444.
Zhang, R, X. Yong, K. Yi, H. Zhang, L. Liu and G. Gong. 2004. A genetic linkage map for watermelon derived from recombinant inbred lines. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129(2):237-243.

Additional or alternative readings may be selected from current literature and will be made available to the students in the form of a photocopy or an electronic file.

Course Outline / List of Topics:




Introductions, review of class syllabus and discussion topics

World food needs and supply

The genetic diversity of wild plant species


The domestication of plants

Conservation of plant biodiversity


Germplasm resources and collections

Public and private breeding programs

Intellectual property – protecting plants & plant products


Genetics - a review

The strategy of plant breeding

Mass and recurrent selection breeding methods and the sweet potato


The pedigree breeding method and the eggplant

The backcross breeding method and the pea


Triploid development in watermelon

Genetic and cytoplasmic male sterility in onion


Andromonoecism in asparagus

Synthetic varieties and faba bean


Hybrid development and tomatoes

Breeding methods and squash (summer and winter)

Plant transformation and genetic engineering


GMOs – review and discussion

Molecular markers


Molecular markers (continued)

Linkage maps


Identifying QTL using backcross-type populations

Identifying QTL using bulked segregant analysis

Vegetable improvement using marker-assisted-selection


Student presentations


Student presentations


Student presentations


Student presentations

Class Assignment:
Each student will investigate, write-up, and present a vegetable breeding or research program that meets specific and long-term goals using traditional breeding and/or molecular methods. The assignment will be graded by the instructor based on completeness, writing skills, and class presentation (see below for details). The vegetable crop chosen cannot be that which the student is currently working on as a graduate student. A list of vegetable crops to choose from for this assignment will be provided by the instructor on the first day of class. This assignment is designed to encourage critical thinking and communication skills.
Written Report: Students will be required to submit a written report for their class assignment. This report is expected to be typed, double spaced, and no more than 15 pages. The written report should include:

  1. An introduction to the vegetable crop including

    1. Global distribution

    2. Dollar value of crop (worldwide and regional)

    3. Taxonomy and center of origin (if known)

    4. Genetics

    5. Reproductive biology

    6. Germplasm resources/collections available

    7. Other interesting information

  2. Breeding and/or scientific research objectives

  3. Traditional breeding methods that are used to achieve breeding and/or research objectives (describe both past and current methods used)

  4. Molecular methods that are used to achieve breeding and/or research objectives

  5. A review of past and present scientific findings from research

  6. References

Presentation: Each student will be required to present their class assignment as a 20-35 minute PowerPoint presentation (length of time for presentation may depend on number of students enrolled), based on their written report, allowing time for questions and answers by the audience. Each student will provide fellow students and instructor handouts of their PowerPoint presentation on the day it is scheduled.

Evaluation & Grades: (Students will be evaluated based on the following)
Points Percentage of Grade

Class attendance 10 10%

Class assignment - written report 45 45%

Class assignment - presentation 45 45%

Total: 100
Grades for this course will be assigned according to established university policy.

90-100 = A 85-89 = B+ 80-84 = B 75-79 = C+ 70-74 = C 65-69 = D+ 60-64 = D <60 = E

Course Policies:
Attendance: Students are expected to arrive on time, be present and participate in all classroom activities and discussions. Please notify the instructor as soon as possible if you will have to miss a class. In general, acceptable reasons for absence from class include illness, serious family emergencies, special curricular requirements (e.g., field trips, professional conferences), military obligation, severe weather conditions, religious holidays and court-imposed legal obligations (e.g., jury duty or subpoena).
Class Assignment- written report and presentation: The written report is due the same day as the scheduled class presentation. Turning in the written report late or missing scheduled class presentation of assignment will result in a decrease in grade of 5% for each day late. Make-up or turning in class assignment late will be given for only documented emergencies.
University Policies:
Academic Honesty, Software Use, UF Counseling Services, Services for Students with Disabilities
In 1995 the UF student body enacted a new honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students.
In adopting this honor code, the students of the University of Florida recognize that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the university community. Students who enroll at the university commit to holding themselves and their peers to the high standard of honor required by the honor code. Any individual who becomes aware of a violation of the honor code is bound by honor to take corrective action. The quality of a University of Florida education is dependent upon community acceptance and enforcement of the honor code.
The Honor Code: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
On all work submitted for credit by students at the university, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”
The university requires all members of its community to be honest in all endeavors. A fundamental principle is that the whole process of learning and pursuit of knowledge is diminished by cheating, plagiarism and other acts of academic dishonesty. In addition, every dishonest act in the academic environment affects other students adversely, from the skewing of the grading curve to giving unfair advantage for honors or for professional or graduate school admission. Therefore, the university will take severe action against dishonest students. Similarly, measures will be taken against faculty, staff and administrators who practice dishonest or demeaning behavior.
Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean or Student Honor Court.
It is assumed all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the instructor.
This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course.
Software Use:
All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.
Campus Helping Resources
Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. Both the Counseling Center and Student Mental Health Services provide confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance. The Counseling Center is located at 301 Peabody Hall (next to Criser Hall). Student Mental Health Services is located on the second floor of the Student Health Care Center in the Infirmary.

  • University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575,

  • Career Resource Center, CR-100 JWRU, 392-1602,

  • Student Mental Health Services, Rm. 245 Student Health Care Center, 392-1171,
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
Center for Sexual Assault / Abuse Recovery & Education (CARE)
Eating Disorders Program
Employee Assistance Program
Suicide Prevention Program
Students with Disabilities
The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.
0001 Reid Hall, 392-8565,

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