Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
University of California
Plant Breeding Academy

PBA Advanced Module

The UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy successfully held its first Advanced Module course in 2015. This module is designed to review the breeding strategies in context of modern tools, build the necessary background towards understanding and practical application of BLUPs, genomic selection, with lectures and discussion.

Course Topics

  • Multivariate selection
  • Linear and mixed models
  • BLUPs
  • Genomic selection
  • Advancements in dealing with testing environments
  • Experimental designs


Rale Gjuric, Director of PBA
Dr. Rale Gjuric is Director of Education at the Seed Biotechnology Center.  He is the founder and president of HAPLOTECH Inc., a company specialized in technical services and consulting in plant breeding. Dr. Gjuric received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada; his M.Sc. from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia; and his B.Sc. from the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia. Previously, he held the positions of Breeding Manager of DL Seeds; Research and Managing Director of DSV Canada; all in Winnipeg Canada. Dr. Gjuric is an accomplished plant breeder with numerous canola varieties and hybrids released in his 15 years in the private sector.  His current focus is in service to the plant breeding industry with special interest in organization and optimization of plant breeding programs.

Allen Van Deynze, Co-founder of PBA
Dr. Allen Van Deynze is a professional researcher at the Seed Biotechnology Center at University of California, Davis. Dr. Van Deynze received a BSc. and MSc. degrees in Plant Science from the University of Manitoba, Canada and a Ph.D. in plant molecular breeding from the University of Guelph, Canada. He did a postdoctorate in molecular genetics at Cornell University in the Department of Plant Breeding and Biometry. He worked as a plant breeder for Calgene/Monsanto and as a senior scientist for Celera AgGen and Paradigm Genetics, where he developed and implemented strategies to incorporate biotechnology into breeding programs. As part of the SBC's mission to serve as a liaison between public institutions and the seed industry, he develops, coordinates and conducts research on the application of biotechnologies to seed crops. His interests include identification of molecular markers to help incorporate traits into new varieties and the development of new phenotypes to address crop production or quality needs.

Dr. J. Bruce Walsh, Primary Instructor

Dr. Bruce Walsh is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, and Molecular and Cellular Biology.  He is a preeminent instructor in Genetics, coauthoring (along with Mike Lynch at Indiana) "Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits", one of the standard references on the application of quantitative genetics to breeding, evolutionary biology, and human genetics.  Over the past ten years, he has been invited to give short courses on advanced topics in quantitative and statistical genetics at many of the world's leading universities, including Wageningen, Edinburgh, Uppsala, Huazhong Agricultural University, Aarhus, Liege, Technical University of Munich, University of Helsinki, University of New England (NSW, Australia), and  Peking University. Additionally, he has been an instructor for over a decade at the Seattle Summer Institute of Statistical Genetics, training over 500 students at just this institute alone.



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