|Distance Programming for Teaching Crop Genetic Engineering
Don Lee and Steve Baenziger
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
This proposal creates modules that will teach two components of the crop
genetic engineer process. Each component has unique features to the
application of biotechnology to crop improvement.
- Transformation Techniques for Crop Plants:
The objectives of this module are to allow learners to: 1) understand key
methods used to introduce genes into plants (particle gun, whiskers, and
agrobacterium methods); 2) visualize the gene insertion events at the
molecular level, 3) predict the genetic implications of specific insertion
events, and 4) appreciate the random nature of these events that lead to
the introduction of important new traits in crop plants. Animation will
help learners visualize the molecular and cellular events and "over the
shoulder" video clips will give the student the feeling for the laboratory
environment where the work is performed.
- Backcross Breeding:
The objectives of this module are to help learners: 1) understand the
benefits and limitations in using the backcross breeding method to
incorporate a single gene into a genetically elite background, 2) know
the steps involved and terminology associated with the backcross breeding
method, 3) explain the basis for phenotypic variability observed among
the parents and progeny at each backcrossing cycle, 4) visualize at the
chromosome and gene level the genetic changes expected in plants as
backcrossing proceeds and 5) propose the application of protein and DNA
detection technology to enhance the backcrossing method. Video clips will
take students out in the field and show them the methods and plants.
Animations will emphasize the time demands of the process and the chromosome
and gene-level changes that take place.