Plant Genetics

Explore the specialized field of plant genetics. Read on to find out more about educational programs in plant genetics, and learn about the kinds of careers that can be pursued with training in this topic.

Inside Plant Genetics

Plant genetics is a specialization within the field of genetics that studies botanical subjects, such as trees, flowers, ferns, mosses and fungi. Students in this type of degree program are taught how to examine plant cells' unique genetic codes for the purposes of botanical research, ecology and evolutionary studies, comparative genetics and industrial research. Programs in this field also include instruction on agricultural studies for the development of superior varieties of major crops. An example of a development in plant genetics within agriculture is the United States Department of Agriculture-funded research in the 1970s and 1980s that led to the creation of Cascade hops, a new kind of hop plant crossbred and engineered to thrive in the wet conditions of the Cascade mountain range in the northwest United States.

Education Information

Aspiring plant geneticists will need to earn postsecondary degrees in genetics or plant biology, typically at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Due to the complex science involved, however, many students who pursue degree programs in plant genetics follow their educational paths all the way to the doctorate level. Many schools have extensive plant genetics programs that focus on crop science and agricultural uses. Also a major part of agriculture and biotechnology programs, plant genetics instruction can include courses in genomics, molecular genetics and evolution, gene expression and genetic interactions at the microbial levels. For more details about the educational programs associated with plant genetics, take a look at these articles.

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