The Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics is globally recognized for developing innovative approaches to crop improvement. Section faculty conduct “translational research” that bridges the gap between fundamental research and its implementation in applied breeding programs, leading to superior crop varieties.

Global food security initiatives with Cornell leadership

Many Plant Breeding & Genetics Faculty are jointly appointed in Cornell's Department of Global Development

woman working in a field

Rebecca Nelson serves as the Scientific Director for the McKnight Foundation's Collaborative Crop Research Program, a competitive grants program that funds agricultural research in developing countries.

two women working at a laptop

Genomic Open-source Breeding informatics initiative (GOBii) are a team of developers, statisticians, bioinformaticists and breeders with multiple Plant Breeding & Genetics faculty participating

cassava tubers

The NextGen Cassava Breeding project seeks to modernize partner cassava breeding institutions in Africa and use cutting-edge tools for improved cassava varieties with involvement from multiple Plant Breeding & Genetics faculty

diseased wheat

The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) is an international consortium, led in part by Cornell faculty, working to reduce the world’s vulnerability wheat rust and enhance world wheat productivity

woman working with rice plants in a growth chamber

The Rice Diversity Project is a collaborative effort directed by Susan McCouch and others to explore the genetic basis of variation in rice and its wild ancestors, identifying genes that can enhance the performance of modern cultivars.

two people examining crop plants

At the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, we equip National Agricultural Research Institutes with the power to define unique goals and drive crop improvement to reduce malnutrition, hunger and provide equitable benefits to women and youth.

International agriculture news

Learn more about our work to address global challenges in food security and sustainability

Scientists look at plants.

News

$25M center will use digital tools to ‘communicate’ with plants
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
A cassava flower held by two fingers

News

A tropical root-crop that is a daily staple food to hundreds of millions of people in Africa and increasingly being used by small-holder farmers in commercial production, cassava has historically been difficult for plant breeders to improve in...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
A group examines a harvest of pearl millet outside in a field

News

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement works with smallholder farmers and rural populations in West Africa to develop sustainable crop innovations that address climate change and other social challenges.
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section