Plant Breeding, Genetics and Molecular Physiology


  • Advance knowledge and understanding in the plant genetics/breeding sciences.

  • Provide high-quality education and training to undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Generate contemporary information on crop genetics and variety performance for delivery to crop producers, agribusiness professionals and other clientele.

  • Develop improved cultivars, construct novel germplasms, and create innovative breeding technologies that will positively impact the production of food, feed and fiber in Nebraska and throughout the world.



Excellent laboratory facilities are available for conducting crop research in the areas of plant breeding, biometrical genetics, cytogenetics and molecular biology. A wheat-quality laboratory, in cooperation with wheat breeders, has the facilities and equipment to evaluate milling, baking, and nutritional qualities of cereals. There are chambers for growing plants under controlled environmental conditions, greenhouses for growing winter crops and buildings for seed processing and preservation. Some nursery space is available close to the campus. An extensive field laboratory is operated at the Agricultural Research and Development Center in Ithaca, Nebraska and the Mead and Lincoln Agronomy farms, along with other sites across the state.

Opportunities for Study and Career Preparation

Advanced courses leading to degrees of Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Agronomy are offered in plant breeding, genetics, population and biometrical sciences, cytogenetics and molecular biology.

A student's program can be extended by supporting courses in biochemistry, biology, biometry, entomology, plant pathology and plant or crop physiology.

Opportunities are available for M.S. and Ph.D. research in many of the major crop areas with opportunity to experience all phases of variety development and commercialization.

Supporting Disciplines

The Department of Agronomy has over 65 faculty members on the Lincoln campus and regional research centers. Interdisciplinary research opportunities and support are available in the department with crop production physiology, soil and water science, weed science and the Soil and Plant Analytical Laboratory.

Several departments on the University of Nebraska campus offer courses that support and strengthen the graduate program in plant breeding and genetics: Animal Science, Biochemistry, Biological Systems Engineering, Chemistry, Entomology, Food Science, Horticulture, Plant Pathology and various sections in the School of Biological Sciences. The George Beadle Center for Genetics and Biomaterials Research provides state-of-the-art facilities for genetic research and teaching. In addition, the Department of Biometry provides facilities and training for the statistical treatment of research data.

Faculty List:

Alphabetical list of faculty in the Plant Breeding and Genetics peer group. Click on a faculty member's name to view contact information, professional accomplishments, etc.