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Subject : Plant Biotechnology (MSc)

Course Duration: 2 years
Course Period : September 2006 - July 2008
Tuition Fee : € 13,820 (composite fee) + € 1,815 (research fee)
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

This programme aims to impart understanding of the basic principles of Plant Sciences and Molecular Sciences and of the integration of these disciplines to provide healthy plants in a safe environment for food and non-food applications. Important aspects of this programme are the design of transgenic plants and related technology and the management of such plants. The detailed insight provided into resistance and diagnostics enables biotechnological techniques to be used to combat pests and diseases in plants. Attention is also paid to the applications of molecular plant biology for producing beneficial products. Integral aspects of the programme are the socio-economic and ethical consequences of biotechnology in the plant sciences.

There are four specialisations:

  • Functional plant genomics - Using array technology to study gene expression profiles improves our understanding of the complexity of the plant transcriptome and interactions between genes and gene products. Students can major in molecular genetics, molecular biology, plant physiology or plant cell biology.
  • Molecular plant breeding, the science of improving the hereditary make-up of cultivated plants, covers a wide range of applications. The use of molecular techniques such as AFLP technology to facilitate plant breeding has contributed enormously to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is instrumental to speeding up the plant breeding process by means of marker assisted techniques. Students can major in genetics, plant breeding or crop and weed science.
  • Plant pathology and pest control, focuses on fundamental knowledge about plant pathogens and ways to use biotechnology in integrated pest management. Fundamental research in this field aims at understanding plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed relationships and is the basis for applied research programmes concentrating on the integrated management of pests, diseases and weeds. It includes investigations of the population ecology of insects, nematodes and weeds and the epidemiology of fungi and viruses, including mechanisms of transmission. Students can major in entomology, virology, phytopathology or nematology.
  • Molecular farming, provides a fundamental understanding of how plants can be exploited for the production of foreign proteins. Students can major in molecular recognition and antibody technology or virology (expression vectors).
  • Graduates from this programme have the required skills in the basic and applied sciences in specialised areas of biotechnology and are able to use these skills to solve complex problems in an integrated fashion.

    Admission Requirements:
    in agricultural sciences, life science, or related fields.
    TOEFL Score of 575 or IELTS 6.5