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  • Author or Editor: Néstor Tarín x
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Plant breeding programs involve multiple steps, and their complete development cannot be experienced by students in a single academic year. Tools of communication and information technologies offer a great opportunity to improve students' skills, but only a few software are available for training undergraduate students in plant breeding programs. Here we present a student-friendly software tool, Retromelon, for simulating the backcross breeding method. We also evaluate its suitability and performance as a learning tool. This software is designed to recreate a real melon (Cucumis melo) backcross breeding program aimed at introgressing the resistance to melon vine decline from the tolerant melon cultivar Pat81 into the susceptible cultivar Piel de Sapo. The software simulates the most important steps and decisions that must be made by a plant breeder in a backcross breeding program, including the number of individuals to evaluate in each generation, evaluation of agronomic traits, and selection of individuals. This software is being used by undergraduate horticulture students. Our results have shown that the use of this tool in the classroom increases the motivation of the students, and therefore, benefits the learning process. This software is available upon request both in English and Spanish versions.

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