Course Title: Molecular Agriculture

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Molecular Agriculture

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Eddie Pang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925-7137

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223-1-70A Bundoora West

Course Coordinator Availability: Mondays, and by appointment on other days.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Knowledge and understanding of plant and animal structure and function, as obtained in BIOL2156/ BIOL2157 Plant Structure & Function and BIOL2258/ BIOL2259 Animal Structure & Function, or equivalent courses; and knowledge and understanding of molecular biology, as obtained for example in BIOL2032/ BIOL2184 Advanced Molecular Biology, or an equivalent course or evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course aims to familiarise you with molecular techniques, which are currently used to enhance conventional plant breeding.   It will also introduce you to a few of the emerging technologies which are likely to have significant impact on agriculture in the near future.

The lecture series will include topics in the areas of plant transformation, the use of molecular markers (marker-assisted selection and marker-assisted backcrossing), genome mapping, and molecular assessment of germplasm diversity. Practical sessions will be conducted on plant transformation, PCR techniques and the use of several computer packages for genome mapping and bioinformatics. You will play a key role in your own education by researching, preparing and delivering a mini-lecture on a topic related to molecular plant breeding or plant transformation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the School of Applied Sciences Program Learning Outcomes at AQF Level 7: 

  • PLO-1   Understanding science 
  • PLO-2   Scientific knowledge 
  • PLO-3   Inquiry and Problem Solving 
  • PLO-4   Communication 
  • PLO-5   Personal and professional responsibility


On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

 CLO1. Identifyanddiscusstheusesof molecular genetics inplant breeding

 CLO2. Applyplanttransformation inthelaboratory, and discuss the uses of this technique for fast-tracking the production of novel plant varieties

 CLO3. Employ specialized software for the genome mapping of plants, and for genetic diversity assessment

 CLO4. Deliver a short lecture on a topic related to molecular plant breeding or plant transformation.



Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • Lectures where information will be presented and topics will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples
  • Tutorials and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding
  • Written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter
  • Private study, working through the course material as presented in lectures and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.
  • Research, preparation and delivery of a short lecture to your peers.

Total Study Hours

Face-to-face lectures are normally 2 hours per week. In addition, tutorials, laboratory sessions, and meetings with the lecturer to discuss your mini-lecture will consume another 2-4 hours, depending on the week. You are also expected to conduct self-directed learning for an additional 3-4 hours per week.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites. Other material will be provided in class. 
 You will be able to access course information and learning material through the Learning Hub (through Blackboard).

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).


The assessment of this course comprises of

  1. A theory examination (40%)

This assessment supports CLOs 1 and 2


  1. Online theory tests (18%)

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4


  1. Practical reports (30%)

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3


  1. Mini-lecture (12%).

       This assessment supports CLO 4