Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn the techniques of plant breeding with this unique course

  • Learn more about plant breeding and selection.
  • Gain knowledge with this solid introduction to plant breeding.
  • Learn about plant genetics.
  • Study plant reproduction.
  • A useful qualification for career advancement.
  • Learn from industry experts – our tutors.

It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan:  

Select a learning method  

Please note, choosing offline (USB stick) will attract a 5% surcharge on top of the course fee


Learn the Techniques of Plant Breeding - Advance Your Career

  • Plant breeding is a bigger industry than most people realize. In some places, earnings from plant breeding rights can equal or exceed earnings from actually producing plants.
  • Today's nurseryman needs to understand plant breeding and selection - this course is a very valuable and unique course for anyone working in the modern industry.
  • Start at any time and study at a pace to suit you.


There are 7 lessons in this module as follows:

Lesson 1. The Scope and Nature of the Plant Breeding Industry
  • What is Plant Breeding
  • Scope of the Modern Industry
  • Sources of Genetic Material
  • Germplasm Preservation
  • Botanic Gardens, Plant Breeding Organisations, Research Bodies
Lesson 2. Introduction to Genetics
  • Review of Plant Genetics Linkage and Crossing Over
  • DNA
  • Homologous Chromosomes
  • Cell Biology -cell components, cell wall, nucleus
  • Protein Synthesis
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Genetics, Mendel's Principles and Experiment
  • Genetic Terminology
  • Gene Linkages
Lesson 3. Gamete Production, Pollination and Fertilisation in Plants
  • Phases of Plant Reproduction
  • Gamete Production
  • Gene Mutation
  • Sources of Genetic Variation: Polyploidy, Bud Sports and Chimeras
  • Male Sterility
  • Effect of Environment
  • Terminology
  • Use of Pollination Biology in Plant Breeding: Pollination Process, Pollination Requirements, Cross Pollination, Fertilisation, Male/Female Recognition, Overcoming incompatibility, Post Fertilisation, Pollen Selection, Floral Introduction etc.
  • Mitosis and Meiosis
  • Genes
  • Sexual Structures in Plants: Flowers, Fruit, Seed
Lesson 4. Mono Hybrid and Di-hybrid Inheritance in Plants
  • Mono hybrid Crosses
  • Di-hybrid Crosses
  • Gene Linkages
  • Crossing Over
  • Recombination
  • Quantitative Traits
  • Terminology
Lesson 5. Systematic Botany and Floral Structures
  • Systematic Botany
  • Plant Morphology
  • Type Specimens
  • Floral Diagrams
  • International Botanical Code
  • Binomial System; Genus and species
  • Hybrids, Varieties, Cultivars
  • Name Changes
  • Nomenclature of hybrids
  • Using Botanical Keys
Lesson 6. Practical Plant Breeding Techniques
  • Plant Breeding Programs
  • Breeding Self Pollinated Crops
  • Pure Line Breeding
  • Mass Selection
  • Pedigree Breeding
  • Bulk Population Breeding
  • Breeding Cross Pollinated Crops
  • Single Plant Selection
  • Mass Selection
  • Progeny Selection
  • Line Breeding
  • Recurrent Selection
  • Backcross Breeding
  • Induced Polyploidy
  • Hybrid Seed Production
  • Dormancy Factors Affecting Germination (e.g. hard seeds, lack of permeability to water, chemical inhibitors, undeveloped embryos, etc.)
Lesson 7. Current Developments in Plant Genetics
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Genetic Engineering
  • DNA Markers
  • Somatic Hybridisation
  • Micro-propagation
  • Plant Breeders Rights
  • Trade Marks, Patents


  • Describe the commercial and scientific nature of the modern plant breeding. industry, on a global basis.
  • Describe the structure and function of genetic material.
  • Describe gamete production in plants.
  • Explain the results of mono hybrid and di-hybrid inheritance in plants.
  • Investigate the role of systematic botany in horticulture.
  • Explain a variety of different plant breeding techniques.
  • Review current developments in plant breeding.


"I am very pleased and impressed with the way that ACS recently handled my submission.

This included acknowledgement of receipt of my answers, finding a specialist to answer a specific subject enquiry, and a tutor to mark the work in the temporary absence of Katie.

All three were both professional and helpful, contributing to my enjoyment and acquisition of interesting, useful knowledge from the Plant Breeding course".
Malcolm Quigley, Plant Breeding Course

The Benefits of Studying This Course

Set against a background in scientific principles, this course equips students with vast knowledge and practical insights into breeding plants. It will satisfy the curiosity of plant enthusiasts and growers who would like to experiment with creating new cultivars or hybrids of their own. The course may be studied by itself or as part of a higher level qualification. It will have greatest appeal to enthusiastic amateurs and people working in the following areas:

  • Plant breeding
  • Propagation & nursery
  • Market gardening
  • Crops
  • Horticultural science
  • Research
  • Plant collecting

What Are Your Aims for Studying Plant Breeding?

You can enrol on Plant Breeding at any time.  The course is studied online or by eLearning with the guidance and support of our expert tutors.

If you are not sure if this course is suitable for you, or you have any questions, or would like to explore other study options, then get in touch with us today.  Use our Free Course Counselling Service to find out more.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

RosesThere are few things as uplifting as being greeted by the sweet fragrance of roses from your own garden. If you have always wanted to grow roses, or perhaps improve an established rose garden, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge! Learn from the masters in horticulture. This wonderfully colourful ebook will teach you everything you need to know about the passion of growing roses.
Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
Tropical PlantsThis luscious, illustrated ebook covers hundreds of different plant genera, and many more cultivars. You will learn how to grow plants commonly cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. It contains everything you need to know about growing tropical plants, managing them and working with them (they can be a little temperamental). Many of the plants can also grow in milder climates as indoor plants or in protected places. Previously published in print form by Kangaroo Press (Simon and Schuster).
OrchidsA colourful guide for students, home gardeners and orchid enthusiasts. The first part deals with growing orchids, and the second covers dozens of orchid genera, and hundreds of cultivars. Explore orchids as cut flowers, container plants, indoor plants and outdoor garden plants, in both tropical and temperate climates, across the world.