MS/PhD Field of Plant Breeding

Genetic improvement of crop plants for the benefit of society

Graduate study in Cornell's Integrative School of Plant Science is organized into five Graduate Fields providing unparalleled opportunities to connect disciplines, creatively solve problems, and integrate complex systems, preparing graduates for diverse careers and futures as leaders in science and society.

Students specializing in Plant Breeding and Genetics are prepared with a solid foundation of coursework and participate in cutting-edge research to improve cultivated plant species though the application of genetics and related sciences. Graduates of this program are ready for many exciting opportunities, including careers in industry, research, agricultural extension, international programs, and the public sector.

Most of the faculty advisors in the Field of Plant Breeding are affiliated with the Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Plant Breeding

Graduate Field Concentrations

The MS/PhD Graduate Field of Plant Breeding has two concentrations:

Plant Breeding: Development of plant materials for greater yield, disease resistance, climate resilience, and quality

Plant Genetics: Molecular genetic studies to identify important genes, compare genomes, assess diversity, and develop bioinformatic tools

woman kneeling beside plants

What's happening in Plant Breeding?

Learn more about research, education, and outreach in the Field of Plant Breeding

2021 Gene Stewardship Award Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

News

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada team earns BGRI research award
The rust-resistant wheat cultivar development team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) earned the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) 2021 Gene Stewardship Award for their long-standing innovations and strategies to combat wheat rust in...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
A man collects data in a research field.

News

A Cornell-led national network of scientists and farmers is developing new varieties of cover crops that are better adapted to local regions and stressors – changes that could carry a bevy of long-term and sustainable benefits for organic growers.
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
  • Agriculture
Scientists look at plants.

News

A new multi-institution, transdisciplinary center will develop systems for two-way communication with plants, allowing scientists to remotely sense a plant’s biology and its immediate ecosystem, in hopes of one day using the information to improve plant growth.
  • Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Three people at an award reception on a stage

News

NextGen Cassava project director Chiedozie Egesi was announced as the 2021 Achiever in Agriculture Award for his work creating a platform to deliver resilient food systems in Nigeria.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Colorful graphic with representations of wheat

News

This year the BGRI will host a virtual conference October 6-8 with the theme “Global Resilience: Science, Pandemics, and the Future of Wheat.” The 2021 BGRI Virtual Technical Workshop will explore how nearly two decades of monitoring and responding to wheat rust epidemics can provide lessons for other global disease outbreaks such as COVID-19. Keynote speakers will draw attention to how we can apply the lessons learned from wheat research and epidemic response to other pandemic diseases facing today’s world.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section