DNA techniques and variety identification

What possibilities do DNA techniques offer when establishing the identity of a variety? This course explores the developments taking place at the UPOV, ISTA and OECD regarding the application of DNA techniques. How will varieties be identified in ten years’ time?

Using examples and practical exercises, you will learn about the various DNA techniques, advantages and disadvantages, possibilities and consequences for test results. Together we will determine the added value of DNA techniques, and the possibilities they offer now and in the future.

Starting date: 
On request

Target group

You are involved in forming and developing policy and the implementation of identity testing, for example granting certification or enforcing Plant Breeders’ Rights. 

Date and location

At this moment this three-day workshop will be organised on request only.



A mixture of theoretical introductions and practical cases, exercises, assignments and discussions. The course will be given in English.


  • Explanation of DNA, markers, how the techniques work, advantages and disadvantages
  • Range of application of DNA techniques
  • DNA developments and ISTA protocols
  • Developments at UPOV regarding the use of DNA in DUS illustrated by a number of models and examples
  • Developments at the OECD regarding the use of DNA
  • Various practical sessions in the lab such as producing DNA profiles, DNA extraction and DNA amplification
  • SSR maize
  • Reference collection management
  • Using data-analysis and databases
  • Using DNA in genotype description of a variety
  • Analysis of own data from the practical sessions
  • Variety Tracer
  • A look into the future of DNA techniques


On completion of the workshop:

  • You will be up-to-date on developments at the UPOV concerning the use of DNA in DUS testing for the purpose of Plant Breeders’ Rights
  • You will be up-to-date on developments at the ISTA concerning the use of DNA for variety identification
  • You will be up-to-date on developments at the OECD concerning the use of DNA for certification
  • You will have learned the basic principles of DNA and discovered the various ways of producing DNA profiles
  • You will have practised essential molecular biology skills such as extracting DNA and amplifying DNA using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • You will know how authorities can apply DNA technology to determine the identity of varieties. The range of applications will also be discussed
  • You will have insight into technological developments in the field of DNA profiling
  • You will have insight into the possibilities of databasing (reference collection management)
  • You will have formed an opinion on the future of variety identification and the added value of DNA techniques


Registration Fee: not yet determined; information will follow soon as possible.



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