CRSS students at Iron Horse Farm


Why Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics?

Plant breeding is the science of developing new varieties of crop plants and ornamentals.

According to the USDA, “Plant breeding — the science of maximizing plants’ positive genetic traits to produce desirable effects — continues to open new frontiers in agricultural production. Advancements in plant genetics and genomics, when used in breeding, help support higher production and cultivation of crops resistant to pests, pathogens, and drought.”

Efforts in plant breeding  and its subtending disciplines of genetics and genomics play an essential role in meeting regional agricultural needs and creating plant varieties that will thrive in the face of a changing climate and meet the food, feed, fiber, and fuel needs of the growing world population. Over the past century, yield increases have met the needs of a growing world population without using more land area and other resources, and at least half of these increases have come from plant breeding.

Learn more from The National Association of Plant Breeders. A wide range of career opportunities are available to plant breeding, genetics, & genomics majors in the private sector, government sector, and academia. These range from basic laboratory research to applied field research. Other career options are teaching, policy formulation, regulatory, and management.

What the Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics (IPBGG) offers students:

As part of their training, IPBGG graduate students conduct research in modern plant breeding methodology and techniques, including the development of genetic and genomic tools and their application to the development of new varieties.

  • Crop diversity – Georgia’s diverse soil and climate types make it possible to grow a wide diversity of crops. University of Georgia (UGA) faculty work on crops ranging from alfalfa to cotton, peanuts, pecans soybeans, watermelons and wheat, along with ornamentals and bioenergy crops.  
  • Complete curriculum for:
  • Critical mass of students – With 50 graduate students in the IPBGG, you will have a built-in support system and colleagues for life.
  • The Plant Center – The IPBGG is part of the larger plant sciences group on campus, which fosters interactions and provides access to over 60 faculty and over 120 graduate students in the plant sciences.
  • World class faculty – UGA is considered the birthplace of both the discipline of ecology and of plant molecular biology. Its current faculty continue the tradition of excellence and are world renowned.
  • Training – Multiple opportunities to develop leadership and other skills to complement your scientific and technical training.
  • Off-campus – Live in an amazing and diverse state.

We invite you to browse our faculty page and contact any faculty member you might be interested in studying under. And don’t forget to learn about our alumni as well!