Genetic Transformation and Plant Breeding

Academic year
Subject Area
Molecular and Cell Biology
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The theoretical contents of the curricular unit will be presented through lectures illustrated whenever possible with practical cases. Students are encouraged to apply the competences acquired through practical activities, including the analysis of case studies. They will also be encouraged to participate in a debate, where they can expose their opinion about genetically modified organisms. The evaluation includes the presentation and discussion in groups of a topic of interest using several articles from international journals.

Learning Outcomes

In this course unit, students should know and understand the different strategies to obtain genetically modified organisms. Students should also understand the pros and cons of the use of these organisms. In the practical component, they should demonstrate the procedures to genetically transform model plants, as well as, to know how the analysis of genetic stability of these organisms, using flow cytometry, is performed. After finishing this course unit, students should be familiarized with the various genetic transformation techniques, and know the practical protocol to perform in the laboratory.

Work Placement(s)



THEORETICAL PROGRAMME: Introduction to Genetic Transformation; Breeding using conventional methods; Methods of Genetic Transformation (Genetic Transformation mediated by Agrobacterium tumefasciens and Direct Genetic Transformation); Vectors for Genetic Transformation; Applications of Genetic Transformation (Herbicide Tolerance, Insect Resistance, Virus Resistance, Stress Tolerance, Productivity Improvement and Crop Quality, Improvement of Nutritional Contents and Fundamental Biology); Public Acceptance of GMO’s (Current State of Transgenic Cultures, Main Benefits and Fears of Transgenic Cultures and Regulation); The future of transgenic plnats.

PRATICAL PROGRAMME: Genetic transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana; Detection and analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants obtained by genetic transformation; Analysis of the genetic stability of mutants using flow cytometry.

Assessment Methods

Research work: 40.0%
Exam: 60.0%


Bibliografia principal:

Slater A, Scott NW, Fowler MR (2008) Plant biotechnology: the genetic manipulation of plants. 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press, New York. - Livro de âmbito geral sobre manipulação genética de plantas


Glick BR, Pasternak JJ (2003) Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA. 3rd Ed. American Society for Microbiology. ISBN: 1555812694 -             Livro genérico sobre DNA recombinante


Canhoto J (2010) Biotecnologia Vegetal – da Clonagem de Plantas à Transformação Genética. 1ª edição. Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra. - Livro genérico sobre Biotecnologia Vegetal com capítulo dedicado à transformação genética de plantas


Para cada tópico a ser investigado é fornecida bibliografia específica no formato de artigos científicos