Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics

Understanding the fundamental concepts of plant breeding, genetics, and genomics is essential to providing solutions to the wide array of problems in food, fiber and energy production that are facing the growing world population. In the Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics graduate program area, students receive training in a wide range of courses and research programs in plant physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, plant-microbe interactions, breeding and biotechnology. We encourage interdisciplinary training that provides a comprehensive preparation for careers in research and education in plant biology, genetics and related areas.

  • During the Fall and Winter semesters, MS students and PhD students who have not completed their comprehensive exam must enroll for 9 credits to be considered a full time student.
  • Students must complete an approved teaching opportunity or an approved extension program. For more information review the graduate teaching requirement.

For a more detailed explanation of degree requirements, see the Graduate Student Handbook.


M.S. Requirements

To satisfy the course requirements for a Masters degree, a student must complete:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours from courses numbered 7000 – 9000
  • 15 credit hours (towards the 30 credit hour requirement) must be from courses numbered at the 8000 or 9000 level
  • 12 credit hours (towards the 30 credit hour requirement) can be satisfied by research, readings and problems courses.

The core requirements for the Masters degree in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics program are:

  • Plnt S 8010 Professionalism and Ethics (2 credits)
  • Participation in the student seminar series
    • Plnt S 9087 (1 credit)
    • Plnt S 7087 (2 credits – Must enroll twice)
  • Plnt S 8090 Thesis Research (1 – 10 credit hours per semester)

The Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics program area emphasizes a customized approach towards the course of study. Each student will work with their adviser and graduate committee to develop a course of study best suited to the student’s educational and career goals. Prospective courses are listed below:

Bridging courses to expand your background in plant biology

Elective Courses to fulfill the requirement for 15 credit hours at the 8000 or 9000 level.
Examples include:

  • An Sci 8430 Introduction to Bioinformatics Programming (4 credits)
  • Bio/PS 8310 Fungal Genetics and Biology (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 8330 Molecular Breeding (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 8362 Introduction to Plant Metabolism (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 8365 Introduction to Molecular Cell Biology (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 8650 Ecological and Evolutionary genomics (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 9415 Physiology of Plant responses to the Environment (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9440 Applied Quantitative and Statistical Genetics (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9540 Genetics of the Plant-Microbe Interaction (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9810 Insect Ecology (3 credits)

Ph.D. Requirements

To satisfy the course requirements for a doctoral degree, a student must complete:

  • A minimum of 72 credit hours from courses numbered 7000-9000 (this includes dissertation research credit hours – i.e. Plnt S 9090)
  • 15 credit hours (towards the 72 hour requirement) must be from courses numbered at the 8000 or 9000 level, exclusive of dissertation research, problems or independent study

The core requirements for the PhD degree in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics program are:

  • Plnt S 8010 Professionalism and Ethics (2 credits)
  • Participation in the student seminar series
    • Plnt S 9087 (2 credits – Must enroll twice; only 1 credit counts towards the 15 credit hour requirement of 8000/9000 level courses)
    • Plnt S 7087 (3 credits – Must enroll 3 times)
  • Plnt S 9090 Dissertation Research (1 – 10 credits per semester)

The Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics program area emphasizes a customized approach towards the course of study. Each student will work with their adviser and graduate committee to develop a course of study best suited to the student’s educational and career goals. Prospective courses are listed below:

Bridging courses to expand your background in plant biology

Elective Courses to fulfill the requirement for 15 credit hours at the 8000 or 9000 level.
Examples include:

  • An Sci 8430 Introduction to Bioinformatics Programming (4 credits)
  • Bio 8300 Advanced Plant Genetic (3 credits)
  • Bio/PS 8310 Fungal Genetics and Biology (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 8330 Molecular Breeding (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 8362 Introduction to Plant Metabolism (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 8365 Introduction to Molecular Cell Biology (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 8650 Ecological and Evolutionary genomics (2 credits)
  • Plnt S 9415 Physiology of Plant responses to the Environment (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9440 Applied Quantitative and Statistical Genetics (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9540 Genetics of the Plant-Microbe Interaction (3 credits)
  • Plnt S 9810 Insect Ecology (3 credits)

Advising

Kristin Bilyeu, soybean seed quality

Pengyin Chen, soybean breeding

Christine Elsik, computational biology & bioinformatics

Sherry Flint-Garcia, maize genetic diversity

Felix Fritschi, crop physiology

Walter Gassmann, molecular plant pathogen interactions

Jason Gillman, genetic basis for valuable seed traits

Bruce Hibbard, insect resistance management

Chin-Feng Hwang, grape genetics & breeding

Hari Krishnan, soybean molecular biology

Misha Kwasniewski, viticulture & enology

Anne McKendry, wheat genetics & breeding

David Mendoza-Cozatl, plant stress biology

Blake Meyers, plant RNA & genomics

Melissa G. Mitchum, molecular plant nematode interaction

Ron Mittler, plant stress biology

Henry T. Nguyen, genetics & biotechnology

Mel Oliver, plant genetics

Andrew Scaboo, soybeans

James Schoelz, molecular plant virus interactions

Robert Sharp, plant physiology

Gary Stacey, functional genomics of soybean microbe interactions

Chris Topp

William Wiebold, soybean & corn management

Bing Yang, plant-bacterial interactions

Zhanyuan Zhang, plant transformation & gene regulation