Course Description

Students are required to pass all required courses with at least 50% score in each course. The first year is evaluated via standard University of Ghana examinations and the second year by seminars and thesis research.

To obtain the MPhil degree in Seed Science and Technology (SST), a student shall:

  • undertake 2 semesters of taught courses/modules at WACCI and pass all required courses and written assignments
  • carry a minimum course workload of 12 credits and a maximum of 18 credits per semester. In exceptional cases, candidates may be allowed to exceed up to 4 extra credits where written permission has been granted by the Board of Graduate Studies
  • present at least two seminars on his/her project work at the beginning and end of the second year
  • pass written thesis (to be examined by one external examiner and one internal examiner)
  • satisfy all other existing requirements as stipulated in the University of Ghana School of Graduate Studies regulations.

 

SEMESTER 1

Core courses Credits
CROP 603 Environmental Plant Physiology 3
CROP 605 Statistics & Experimental Design* 3
CROP 617 Plant Genetics* 3
CROP 691 Research Methods 3
Elective courses (students should take a minimum of one elective)  
CROP 615 Plant Tissue Culture 3
CROP 635 Seed Pathology 3
CROP 637 Plant Virology 3
Semester 2  
Core courses   Credits
CROP 612 Crop Improvement 3
CROP 618 Genomics for Crop Improvement* 3
CROP 624 Crop Protection for Plant Breeders* 3
CROP 626 Quantitative Genetics** 3
Elective courses (students should take a minimum of one elective)  
CROP 602 Plant Nutrition 3
CROP 604 Plant Growth & Development 3
CROP 616 Gene Manipulation 3
Seminars AND Thesis  
CROP 600 Thesis 30
CROP 650 Seminar I 3
CROP 660 Seminar II 3

Graduation Requirements

Students would require 60 - 72 credits to graduate


 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

SEMESTER 1


CROP 603 ENVIRONMENTAL PLANT AND PHYSIOLOGY

This course examines the responses of plants to environmental stresses. Topics include plant growth and development; the influence of the environment; evolution and adaptation; comparative ecology and phenology; the acquisition of resources: energy and carbon, mineral nutrients, water, temperature, toxicity; ecological perspectives, the individual plant, interactions among plants, interactions between plants and other organisms; strategies and dynamics.

 

CROP 605 STATISTICS AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

This course discusses statistical methods involving relationships between populations and samples; collection, organization, and analysis of data; and techniques in testing hypotheses; simple and multiple regression and correlation analyses; analysis of variance for designed field and laboratory experiments; multivariate analysis; complete and incomplete block designs. Analytical methods will be taught in R.

 

CROP 617 PLANT GENETICS

This course is designed to provide students with in-depth understanding of genetics. It forms the base for a better understanding of other related topics such as quantitative genetics, population genetics, plant breeding and aspects of molecular genetics. The topics covered include: genes and chromosomes; mitosis and meiosis; Mendelian genetics and its extension; gene interactions; genetic linkage analysis; linkage maps; sex determination and sex chromosomes; chromosome mutations; gene mutations; extra-nuclear inheritance; DNA structure, replication and variation; DNA organization in chromosomes; genetic code, transcription, translation and proteins; regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; post translation mechanisms, introduction to population genetics.

 

CROP 691 RESEARCH METHODS

This course provides students with opportunity to establish or advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and approaches. Topics covered include scientific writing and research report preparation, literature search, research planning and design, field research including on-station, on-farming, multi-location, multi-season and long-term experiments, survey research-questionnaire construction and sample selection, methods and importance of error control in research, controlled-environment studies and research grant development.

 

CROP 615 PLANT TISSUE CULTURE

The course discusses the principles, protocols and utilization of plant cell tissue culture systems. Topics would include embryogenesis, organogenesis and plant regeneration; isolation, culture genetic manipulation of plant protoplast; somatic hybridization; selection of somatic hybrid plants; transformation of plants; protoplast culture and fusion; selection of plant cells for desirable characteristics; haploid cell cultures; embryo rescue and uses; secondary metabolites production by cell suspension culture; cryopreservation and storage of germplasm; tissue culture methods in phytopathology and commercial micro propagation.

 

CROP 635 SEED PATHOLOGY

The course is designed to provide students with knowledge on the management of diseases affecting seed production and utilization. Topics covered include history of seed pathology, economic significance of seed-borne diseases, seed-borne pathogens, morphology and anatomy of seeds in relation to transmission of pathogens, entry points in seed infection, seed-plant transmission, establishment of infection and cause of disease, seed health testing and assessment of seed-borne inoculum.

 

CROP 637 PLANT VIROLOGY

This course will enable students to appreciate the interaction between viruses and their host plants. Topics to be covered include: the mechanism and evolution of plant viruses, virus purification and characterization, virus classification, structural organisation of RNA Viruses, structural organization of DNA viruses, expression and analysis of viral genes, replication of viruses, movement of plant viruses, transmission of viruses and important viral diseases of crop in West Africa.

 

 

SEMESTER 2


CROP 612 CROP IMPROVEMENT

This course is designed to equip students with knowledge of concepts and principles of plant breeding. Topics include crop evolution, geographical distribution and conservation of crop genetic resources, reproduction of crop plants and fertility regulating mechanisms, breeding and selection methods for self and cross pollinated crops, heterosis, inbreeding depression and hybrid development, population 5 improvement methodologies, breeding for resistance to disease and pests, breeding for abiotic stress resistance, applications of molecular technologies to crop improvement including marker assisted selection, breeding for end user-traits, breeding for nutrient enhancement.

 

CROP 618 GENOMICS FOR CROP IMPROVEMENT

This course is designed to provide students with new and emerging concepts in plant genomics, phenotypic and genomic data analysis. Plant breeding has always been a genomic science, where the genomes with the best performance are identified, selected, and distributed for cultivation. New technologies for characterizing genomes and their function greatly enhance the information base available for improving crops through molecular breeding approaches. Through examination of recent literature and data analysis exercises in R software, student will apply recent advances in genomic science to the discovery, creation and selection of improved plant varieties. Topics to be covered include: mutation, selection, genetic drift and drift simulations, recombination, linkage disequilibrium, linkage mapping, haplotypes, population structure, association mapping, simulation, genetic architecture and genomic selection.

 

CROP 624 CROP PROTECTION FOR PLANT BREEDERS

This course is specially designed for plant breeding students to provide them with adequate background knowledge, which will enable them to identify and manage potential pests that may encounter on the field. The topics to be discussed will include overview of pest in crop production, identification and biology of major pests (arthropods, pathogens and weeds), damage and losses caused, management strategies and breeding for resistance.

 

CROP 626 QUANTITATIVE GENETICS

This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of quantitative genetic theory to enable them evaluate relevant literature in the discipline and also be equipped to design, execute, analyse and interpret results of experiments involving polygenically controlled characters in plant breeding programmes. The topics covered include: genetic structure of plant populations, genetic values and means, covariance among relatives and heritability estimates. Response to natural and artificial selection, multi-trait selection and correlated response to selection. Mating designs and consequences on population structure. Genotype x environment interaction. Quantitative trait loci analysis.

 

CROP 602 PLANT NUTRITION

This course is designed to provide students with knowledge in the concepts of plant mineral nutrition that will provide a basis for solving practical nutritional problems in horticultural crops. The topics covered include mineral nutrients, nutrient availability in the soil and plant uptake, nutrient deficiencies and toxicities and their causes and remedies, and plant and soil analysis. The interaction of mineral nutrients with biotic and abiotic stresses and the role of plant mineral nutrition in human health will also be discussed.

 

CROP 604 PLANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

This course is designed to provide knowledge on how environmental factors interact to affect and control plant growth and development. The topics covered mainly focuses on regulation of cell division, meristem activity, plant stem cells, embryogenesis and organogenesis, signal transduction and plant hormones.

 

CROP 616 PRINCIPLES OF GENE MANIPULATION

This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge on generation of recombinant DNA, cosmids, plasmid and other advanced vectors; synthesis of DNA, construction of DNA library, 6 analysis of recombinant DNA, alteration of genes by mutagenesis; expression of foreign proteins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, applications of DNA technology and bioinformatics.

 

CROP 650 SEMINAR I

Seminar I will cover the MPhil Research Proposal. The research topic, research outline, justification and objectives, methodology, data to be collected and types of analysis, plan of work as well as budget will be reviewed following a formal presentation by the student to the supervisory committee, other students and faculty. The presentation as well as the proposal document will be graded.

 

CROP 660 SEMINAR II

Seminar II will look at research results and discussions in line with the set objectives. A presentation of results/findings and contribution of research to knowledge will be assessed and graded.