For over 10,000 years, man has manipulated genes in plants that increase crop yields, change flower color, or influenced morphological and physiological traits that benefit people. In 2003, a group of Agricultural Journalists stated that the biggest event in agriculture over the past 50 years was the creation of hybrids to improve crops.
Students in breeding, biology & biotechnology will learn how to improve plants to meet increasing food demands, use plants for biofuels and "green" energy, and design plants that are more attractive or are healthier for eating (e.g. high protein or no trans-fats). Courses will emphasize traditional approaches (crossing plants) as well as inserting genes using molecular techniques.
Vocations often result in serving as plant breeders for seed companies, a research scientist for the USDA, or a university instructor or professor. Students with skills in this area are very high in demand.
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