Part I: Seed Science and Technology 2017-09-06T21:57:15+00:00

Week At A Glance: November 06 – 10, 2017

November 06, 2017
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel to Seed Science Center
8:30 – 9:00 am Check-in and Registration
9:00 – 10:30 pm Welcome & Course Overview
11:00 – 12:30 pm Introduction to Seed Life Cycle
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch provided
1:30 – 3:00 pm Crop Improvement
3:30 – 5:00 pm Crop Improvement
5:00 – 6:00 pm Social Networking Mixer
6:00 – 7:00 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel

November 07, 2017
8:30 – 9:00 am Shuttle from Hotel to Seed Science Center
9:00 – 10:30 pm Variety Development & Testing
11:00 – 12:30 pm Variety Development & Testing
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch provided
1:30 – 3:00 pm ISU Genomic Technologies Facility Tour
3:00 – 4:00 pm ISU Double Haploid Lab Tour
4:00 – 5:00 pm ISU Plant Transformation Facility Tour
5:00 – 6:00 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel

November 08, 2017
8:30 – 9:00 am Shuttle from Hotel to Seed Science Center
9:00 – 10:30 pm Seed Production
11:00 – 12:30 pm Seed Production
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch provided
1:30 – 3:00 pm Industry Tour: Monsanto Co.
3:30 – 5:00 pm Industry Tour: Monsanto Co.
5:00 – 6:00 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel

November 09, 2017
8:30 – 9:00 am Shuttle from Hotel to Seed Science Center
9:00 – 10:30 pm Post Harvest Management
11:00 – 12:30 pm Post Harvest Management
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch provided
1:30 – 3:00 pm Seed Health Testing
3:30 – 5:00 pm Seed Health Testing
5:00 – 6:00 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel

November 10, 2017
8:00 – 8:30 am Shuttle from Hotel to Seed Science Center
8:30 – 10:00 am Seed Physiology
10:30 – 12:00 pm Seed Quality Testing
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch provided
1:00 – 2:30 pm Seed Quality Testing
3:00 – 4:00 pm Seed Quality Testing Lab Tour
4:00 – 5:00 pm Shuttle from Seed Science Center to Hotel

Course Overview

Seed companies invest significant amounts of time and money to conduct research and development in the creation of superior products. One of the most important decisions a company makes is which products to commercialize. Once a product is commercialized the most significant variable cost to the company is undertaken during seed production. Since it may take up to 10 years to develop a new product the extent of the life cycle of that particular product, in terms of the number of years it will be produced and sold to customer/farmers is critical to the financial success of the company. Plant breeding continues to create new and better performing products which tend to shorten the life cycle of seed products. This along with the advent of biotechnology traits which has created a proliferation of the number of products, makes the management of product life cycle a critical aspect in the success of a seed company.

The seed industry is becoming ever more global in trade. How humans utilized plant genetics resources to create our cultivated crops and agriculture itself has an increasing bearing on current and future crop improvement strategies, including the conservation and more effective use of genetic resources and the regulatory environment controlling terms to access and use those genetic resources. It is imperative to understand the relative contributions of genetics, management and environment to the performance of cultivars. This information enables the development of a sustainable research strategy by understanding which traits are important to focus on and how to manage those traits using breeding in a manner that can produce competitive cost-effective solutions for farmers. The future holds many challenges which the successful plant breeding company will turn into opportunities and thus a series of competitive advantages.

The session on Crop Improvement will cover the origin and global spread of cultivated varieties. Transitioning from land races to plant breeding. Measuring genetic contributions to yield (genetic gain). Variance and heritability, characteristics of single and multi-genetic traits. Increasing efficiency of breeding through use of machinery, information, field plot design, improved statistical analysis, off-season nurseries, double-haploids, high-throughput molecular markers, transgenic varieties, and gene-editing. Case studies in breeding for insect resistance and drought resistance. Conservation and use of a broader germ plasm base.

This in-depth course provides a hands-on approach to turning the potential provided by Research into the reality of a high quality product that can be sold with confidence. Beginning with a historical perspective and covering topics that include the Production of Parent Seed Stocks, Production of Commercial Seed, Harvesting the Seed Crop, Seed Conditioning, Quality Assurance, Warehouse Storage, Logistics and Distribution, as well as Quality Management Systems.

Seeds can be contaminated by fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and other pathogens that reduce seed quality and create a risk for the spread of disease. One component of managing these risks is a robust seed health testing program. Seed health testing refers to the detection of pathogens in or on seeds. Seed health testing is performed by seed companies, private laboratories, and public labs or agencies, in order to assure seed quality, to prevent disease outbreaks, and to meet phytosanitary regulations. In this part of the course, we will have lectures and demonstrations of the major seed health testing methods including visual inspection, grow-outs, incubation tests, antibody-based tests (ELISA), and DNA-or RNA-based tests (PCR).

Seed quality is defined as the germination, vigor, and composition characteristics that allow seeds to emerge and establish a healthy plant stand in the field. The Seed quality testing session will focus on a seed systems approach to understand the fundamental interactions between environmental factors, transgenic traits, and plant genetics.


Meet Your Instructors

Gary Munkvold, PhD
Iowa State University
Professor, Plant Pathology
STB Short Course & Grad Program Director

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Susana Goggi, PhD
Iowa State University
Professor, Seed Physiology

Stephen Smith, PhD
Iowa State University
Affiliate Professor, Agronomy

Alan Gaul
Iowa State University
Seed Conditioning Specialist

Greg Lamka, PhD
Iowa State University
Dupont - Pioneer

Registration is Open!

Short Course – Home
Part I: Seed Science & Technology
Part II: Seed Business Management
Short Course Instructors
Registration Fees & Policies
Participant Information

Short Course Dates

November 06 – 10, 2017 – Part I
February 05 – 09, 2018 – Part II

Registration Fee

$3,850/person – both Part I & Part II
$2,850/person – either Part I or Part II
Cancellation & Minimum Attendance Policy


Seed Science Center
Iowa State University
2115 Osborn Drive
Ames, Iowa 50011


Please contact:
Cindy Robertson
STB Short Course Coordinator

Educational Credit

You can earn CEU and CCA credit at this program.