Plant Breeding

Plant breeders employ genetics to improve plants for the benefit of society. Those who enjoy agriculture and genetics may be interested in this type of career. Read on to learn about academic opportunities that can prepare you for this field.

Inside Plant Breeding

Plant breeding specialists improve existing plants or develop new plant varieties that can be used for food, environmental remediation, fuel or ornamental purposes. Through scientific research and genetic manipulation, plant breeders cultivate crop and ornamental plants that are resistant to disease, extreme temperatures and other factors that negatively affect plants. This highly specialized field requires a solid understanding of math and science.

Education Information

Bachelor of Science degree programs are available in plant breeding, plant science and horticulture. Graduate students can earn a Master of Science or Ph.D. in a subfield of plant science, plant genetics or horticulture. Students who wish to become plant breeders take science-related courses, including plant genetics, genetic improvements in plants, plant breeding and plant biotechnology. In addition, programs generally have a significant lab component requiring students to apply plant breeding and science techniques. The following are a sample of some degree programs that can lead to a career in plant breeding and related career options.

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