In this emphasis, you will study how differences at the molecular level can be used to improve plant growth and development.Much of your work will be hands-on in greenhouses and laboratories. Gain an understanding of how plant genes are replicated, expressed, and controlled. Learn how plants grow and respond to environmental stress, diseases, and insects. Study gene expression and practice manipulating plant genes to alter responses at the molecular level to pathogens, insects, and the environment. Develop and use DNA molecular markers to determine disease resistance and identify superior crop plants.
You’ll learn from professors who conduct integrated crop research that combines the latest molecular techniques with classic methods of crop improvement. Their research projects include: developing new cultivars of wheat, mustard, canola, potatoes, and beans; genetically transforming agronomic and horticultural crops; studying the molecular aspects of insect and disease resistance of plants; improving crops for use as biofuels; and evaluating the biological risks of transgenic crops. This emphasis is a good fit if you can see yourself:
Most of our students complete an internship the summer between their junior and senior years. They help grow plants and collect data in greenhouses, nurseries, and laboratories.