AGRO-ENTO 815B: Germplasm and Genes

Fall 2019: Oct. 1-Nov. 5

Image of popcorn ear in field.
Instructor: Dr. P. Stephen Baenziger

 Class No.: AGRO/ENTO 815B

Credits: One graduate credit.
The course is also offered for noncredit professional development. Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) may earn 7 Crop Management and 3 Pest Management CEUs.

Academic Credit information or go directly to MyRed


Genetic variation is the driving force behind crop plant breeding efforts; and, in this course, students learn the importance of creating the necessary genetic resources variation for conventional and modern plant breeding programs and about the world's great centers of crop diversity, where plant breeders obtain germplasm and genes from cultivated plants and their wild relatives. Modern biotechnology and its ability to move genes from one species to another are discussed as the newest way to create genetic variation. The origin of crops and how crop ancestors have co-evolved with many crop diseases and plants are highlighted.


Distance students have the option of participating in live lectures presented twice weekly to resident, on-campus students, or viewing the taped lectures online.  The resident class section, which will be available “live” via the Internet for distance students, will meet on days and times to be announced.

  • Plant Breeding: Principles and Practices, course notes by P. Stephen Baenziger (recommended) 
  • Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding, by George Acquaah (recommended reference text) 

Course notes may be downloaded from online class environment. Purchase Acquaah book from the University Bookstore or from


High speed Internet access, email, and the ability to view videos.


Individuals taking the course for academic credit must be enrolled in UNL's Graduate School and have completed AGRO 315 Genetic Principles. For noncredit participants, at least one prior course in genetics is recommended.


Academic Credit Course: For information on tuition and fees, please visit the Student Accounts website.

Who It's For

Among those who would benefit from taking this course are:

  • Graduate students, who can take this introductory mini-course as preparation for more intensive or specialized study later 
  • Seed industry personnel 
  • Agronomists and crop consultants (Certified Crop Advisors may earn 7 Crop Management and 3 Pest Management CEUs.)
  • Food industry personnel 
  • Extension educators, agents and specialists
  • Producers 
  • Science and vocational agriculture teachers