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Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences

Contact Information:

Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2339
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2339

Phone: (208) 885-6274

Email: pses@uidaho.edu
AG plants

Current Research

Enjoy extensive informal interactions with professors whose doors are wide open well beyond office hours and who are engaged in vital research such as:

  • Incorporating into cereal crops, the targeted qualities that consumers, nutritionists and ethanol markets are demanding.
  • Breeding oilseed crops that fill the nation’s fuel tanks and control soilborne pests.
  • Investigating mutations in key plant damaging viruses like Potato Virus Y.
  • Developing native ornamentals that decrease dependence on fertilizers, pesticides and water in Intermountain West landscapes.
  • Evaluating the potential transmission of herbicide resistance from transgenic wheat to such weedy relatives as jointed goat grass.
  • Detecting and mapping aggressive weed invaders.


Join the Plant and Soil Science Club, which produces plants for sale. Roll up your sleeves with the Soil Stewards, who operate a community supported agriculture subscription program and offer opportunities to learn sustainable/organic production and marketing methods. Or, gain leadership, organizational and communications skills with the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Hands-On Experience

Your thesis or dissertation research will provide your richest opportunities for hands-on learning – from designing your own experiment to conducting trials, analyzing data and reporting results. You’ll be guided by a faculty member who will mentor your progress every step of the way. Recent graduate students have:

  • Determined the effect of Potato Virus A on yields of two varieties of potatoes.
  • Studied the effects of postharvest phosphoric acid on fungal disease management in potatoes.
  • Evaluated management and agronomic practices for optimal production of winter and spring canola and Oriental and yellow mustard in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Used genetic engineering tools to study RNA viruses in recombinant yeasts and molecular markers to map Hessian fly resistance in wheat.
  • Studied the effects of onion maturity and agronomic practices on the severity of neck rot.
  • Assessed the effect of organic mulches on carbon-nitrogen ratios, nutrient availability and tree growth.
  • Evaluated benthic barriers and herbicides against the invasive weed Eurasian water milfoil.

Breakthroughs & Discoveries

Join our faculty in making notable contributions to the field of plant science. In the past few years alone, we have:

  • Developed a low lignin wheat with enhanced potential as an ethanol feedstock that surprised plant breeders nationally with its unexpected straw strength.
  • Identified precise, sensitive methods for detecting plant viruses to protect our national and international seed potato markets.
  • Developed Brassica crops with improved fatty acid profiles for biodiesel production.
  • Tracked the first outbreak of wheat streak mosaic in southeastern Idaho.
  • Developed potato varieties that are resistant to late blight and other major diseases, making them suitable for organic production.