Course Descriptions

Below are descriptions of all courses offered through various departments and a part of the Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics curriculum.

Agronomy 771- Experimental Designs:
1 cr. Review of methods from controlling error in research experiments; review and in-depth development of factorial treatment designs; theory, analysis, and examples of advanced experimental designs for plant and animal research. P: Stat 571

Agronomy 772- Applications in ANOVA:
1 cr. Development of models, programs, inferences, and interpretations of analysis of variance in biological research; mixed vs. random effects models and their development; choosing the correct inference range; variance and covariance analyses; repeated measures; dealing with missing data; SAS programming. P: Stat 571.

Agronomy/Horticulture 811- Biometrical Procedures in Plant Breeding:
3 cr. Use of statistical methods to facilitate improvements in quantitative traits of cultivated plants. P: Intro courses in genetics & statistics.

Agronomy/Horticulture 812- Selection Theory for Quantitative Traits in Plants:
2 cr. Discuss advanced topics in selection theory and the utilization of molecular markers in selection. P: Agronomy/Hort 811

Agronomy/Horticulture 957- Plant Breeding Seminar

Biochemistry 621- Plant Biochemistry:
3 cr. Biochemistry of photosynthesis, respiration, and other metabolic and biosynthetic processes in plants. P: Biochem 501 or 507.

Botany 500 – Plant Physiology:
3-4 cr. An in-depth look at plant growth, development, respiration, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, and water relations. For junior, senior and graduate students; not for those who have taken Biocore. In the laboratory, experimental approaches will be used to demonstrate principles described in lecture. 3-credit option (lecture only) available with consent of instructor.P: Intro botany or biology sequence required; organic chem recomm. Undergrads must enroll for 4 cr (lec & lab); Grads may enroll for 3 cr (lec only) or 4 cr

Botany 840- Regulatory Mechanisms in Plant Development:
3 cr. Molecular mechanisms whereby endogenous and environmental regulatory factors control development; emphasis on stimulus perception and primary events in the signal chain leading to modulated gene expression and cellular development; lecture. P: Biochem 501 or 601; Botany 500 or Biocore 301 & 323.

Genetics 631- Plant Genetics:
3 cr. This is a graduate-level course in plant genetics. We will cover the basic concepts of genetics and genomics as applied to plants, including discussions on breeding systems (modes of reproduction, sex determination, self incompatibility and crossing barriers), linkage analysis, genome structure and function (structure, function and evolution of nuclear and organellar chromosomes; haploidy and polyploidy; expression regulation and epigenetics), and a description of current methodologies used in the analysis of these processes. Our objective is to instigate in students a broader knowledge and understanding of the principles and methodologies used in plant genetics such that they can adopt them most effectively in their own research projects, and can describe and discuss them more thoroughly with the general public. This course is based on lectures and in-class discussions of assigned readings. P: Genetics 466 or equivalent.

Genetics 633- Population Genetics:
3 cr. A course for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students focused on the interpretation of genetic variation in natural populations. We will study the basic models that connect genetic variation to underlying evolutionary and genetic processes, including mutation, recombination, genetic drift, migration, and natural selection. We will discuss methods for measuring DNA variation, including the analysis of genome-scale data sets. P: Genetics 466 or Consent of Instructor.

Horticulture/Agronomy 501- Principles of Plant Breeding:
3 cr. Principles involved in breeding and maintaining economic crops, factors affecting the choice of breeding methods, alternative approaches through hybridization and selection. P: Intro course in genetics, 1 yr. Biology.

Horticulture/Agronomy 502- Techniques of Plant Breeding:
1 cr. Lab and field techniques used in breeding and maintaining economic crops. An intro course in genetics and 1 yr. Biology.

Horticulture/Genetics 550- Molecular Approaches to Plant Improvement:
3 cr. Introduction of basic concepts of plant molecular biology and molecular techniques in current use. 3 cr. Topics include: organization and regulation of plant genes, gene cloning and analysis, transformation systems for plants, and molecular techniques for crop improvement. P: Biochem 501 and Genetics 466 or equiv courses.


3 cr. Computing-intensive course to prepare students for genetic mapping research; linkage analysis and QTL mapping in designed crosses; linkage disequilibrium and association analysis (GWAS). Enroll Info: Recommended preparation is undergraduate courses in genetics and statistics and prior experience writing R scripts (such as module 1 of STAT 327).

Plant Pathology 505- Plant-Microbe Interactions: Molecular and Ecological Aspects:
3 cr. Molecular and ecological aspects of the interactions between plants and microorganisms. This course explores many of the themes, from genetic to integrative, of modern biology and illustrates how study of plant-microbe interactions contributes to understanding of fundamental plant science. P: An upper level course in micobiology (e.g. Bact 303); biochem (e.g. Biochem 501); and Genetics (e.g. Genetics 466) or cons inst.

Plant Pathology 517- Plant Disease Resistance:
3 cr. Host resistance in plant disease control.  Conceptual and applied aspects of resistance: how it works, why it sometimes fails, and the traditional and modern techniques used for evaluating host resistance and incorporating resistance factors into new plant varieties. P: Previous coursework in plant pathology, genetics and/or plant breeding, or cons inst.

Statistics 572- Advanced Statistics for Biosciences:
4 cr. Polynomial regression, multiple regression, two-way ANOVA with and without interaction, split-plot design, subsampling, analysis of covariance, elementary sampling, introduction to bioassay. P: Stat 571