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Course Descriptions

Semester 1

 

Semester 2


 

Semester 1

 WACI 701: Biometry and Experimental Design

This course is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in the application of statistical methods to analyse data arising from a wide range of applications. Topics include: parametric statistical methods used in agricultural research; hypothesis testing; principles of experimental designs; analysis of simple and complex experiments; covariance analysis and alternatives; simple and multiple correlations and regression; non-parametric methods;  scientific writing and research report preparation; research planning and design;  field research including on-station, on-farm, 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; breeding designs and mating systems and genetics data handling.

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 WACI 703: Biotechnology in Plant Breeding

Plant biotechnology, genome research and plant breeding now underpin all aspects of agriculture world-wide. The objective of this course is to provide students with the theory and practical skills of plant genetic manipulation relevant to plant biotechnology, plant breeding and genome research. Topics to be covered include: Tissue and cell culture and their applications in crop improvement, DNA markers and applications in crop improvement and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in plant breeding.

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 WACI 705: Plant Genetics

This course is aimed at enhancing students understanding of the processes and mechanisms of transmission genetics; mendelian genetics and extensions of mendelian genetics; dominance relations and multiple alleles; gene interactions; linkage and linkage maps; cytogenetics, extrachromsomal inheritance; plastids and mitochondria; nucleic acids structure; DNA, replication and function; protein structure and function; mechanisms of genetic change; gene mutation; recombination; transposable genetic elements; functional, structural and comparative genomics and gene finding and annotation.

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 WACI 707: Host Plant and Pathogen Interactions

The course will introduce students to recognize plant diseases; the biology of plant pathogens and the cause of disease; mechanisms of disease development and factors influencing disease development; host-pathogen interaction; the mechanism of host defense; the nature and expression/resistance; the development of appropriate screening techniques for identification and assessment of resistance; plant disease management; virus structure, characterization and mechanisms of transmission; and virus movement and development of infection.

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 WACI 709: Plant Pests and Integrated Pest Management

This course is intended to give students a broad overview of plant pests associated with field crops in West and Central Africa. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the concepts in integrated pest management and its application as a pest control strategy. They will also be trained in the design and implementation of IPM programs.

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Semester 2

 WACI 702: Quantitative Inheritance in Plant Breeding

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.

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 WACI 704: Physiology of Environmental (abiotic) Stresses

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.

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 WACI 706: Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants

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 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.

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 WACI 708: Plant Cell 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.

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 WACI 712: 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 organisation 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.

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