Plant Genomics

What is the global issue students are trying to tackle in this problem-based learning unit?

In recent years we have experienced unprecedented challenges to food and agronomic crops including lodging, plant pests such as blight and insects, and changes in the growing season (drier, longer, colder environments than historically observed). 

How can plant/crop diversity, selection and breeding help to solve these challenges? 

Choose a prevailing issue affecting an agronomic or food crop in Colorado. Use your resources in and out of this PBL to solve this issue. As young plant scientists, you will and create a pitch to a group of researchers and industry professionals to convince them to invest in your idea/solution. 

Students will view this issue through four critical lenses.


How does crop production impact the economy?  Can changes in plant genetics result in changes in the economics of plant based agriculture?


What are the impacts of changes in plant genetics to the environment?  How do naturally occurring changes in plant genetics differ from those that are human assisted and do they affect the environment in different ways?


What is the community's role in the preservation of plant genetic material? How do cultural and demographic differences shape the way people see production crop agriculture?


What is the government's role in regulating changes in plants through genetics?  What policies have been put in place, or should be put in place within this realm?

Instructional Material for PBL Educators

Unit 4 - Crop Domestication and Selective Breeding

Crop Domestication and Selective Breeding Kick-Off Video

Crop Domestication and Selective Breeding Lesson Plan

Crop Domestication and Selective Breeding Slides

Crop Domestication and Selective Breeding Workbook Section

Additional Resources for the Lesson