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Plant Breeding

Field Description

The field of plant breeding encourages applications from students interested in crop improvement in the context of global agriculture. Faculty research areas include not only applied breeding of major crops such as cereals, forages, potato, and diverse fruits and vegetables but also molecular genetics and genomics of crop plants.

The applied breeding program deals with development of plant materials for greater yield, disease resistance, adaptability, quality, etc. and with studies of breeding methods and principles. Molecular and biochemical studies to identify and isolate agriculturally important genes seek to relate information from model species to crop plant genomes, to compare crop genomes, to assess genetic diversity, and to develop bioinformatic tools relevant to crop improvement. Conservation and evolutionary genetics of crop plants and their wild relatives is an additional topic of research. Many faculty members include both applied breeding and molecular study in their programs.

Faculty are located in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Boyce Thompson Institute, USDA Robert W. Holley Center (all in Ithaca) and in the Department of Horticultural Sciences (Geneva). Extensive greenhouse and field facilities are available. The molecular programs benefit from well equipped laboratories, the many plant-oriented programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and collaborative activities with other areas of life sciences at Cornell.

Course work available ranges from plant breeding methods to molecular breeding to intellectual property issues. Special opportunities are available for students interested in international experience. Graduate students receive a broad education preparing them for careers in many areas of plant biology and agriculture.

Prospective applicants may wish to correspond with faculty members in their area of interest. The list below gives general topics of research and/or crops studied for each field member. Additional information, including more detailed descriptions of faculty research and courses, is available on the Plant Breeding web site or from the graduate field office.

Contact Information

Website: http://plbrgen.cals.cornell.edu
Email: kec36@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-3267

231 Emerson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • plant breeding
  • plant genetics

Plant Breeding

  • plant breeding
  • plant genetics

Faculty

Mark P Bridgen - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding Research Interests: breeding and development of ornamental plants; plant propagation
Susan K Brown - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: apple breeding and genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding Research Interests: maize diversity and functional genomics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: international agriculture
Walter S de Jong - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: potato breeding; molecular genetics
Jeffrey J Doyle - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant genetics Research Interests: plant molecular systematics; gene and genome evolution; polyploidy
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: molecular and genetic mechanisms impacting fruit maturation and ripening
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: breeding for nutrition, high-throughput phenotyping
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: vegetable breeding and genetics
Georg Jander - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics
Jean-Luc Jannink - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: cost-effective methods of using DNA markers in public section small grains breeding
Li Li - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: molecular approaches for improving crop nutritional and health values
Michael Mazourek - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: breeding; genetics and biochemistry of vegetables
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: rice molecular genetics; comparative grass genome analysis; database curation and design
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: tomato breeding and genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant genetics Research Interests: disease resistance and management
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding Research Interests: molecular genetic variation and molecular biology underlying key traits and processes in cultivated grapevines
Wojtek Pawlowski - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: plant breeding; plant genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: grapevine breeding and genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics; Agriculture and Life Sciences: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: Jessica Rutkoski's research seeks to target the optimal integration of multiple technologies, such as genomic selection, and high throughout phenotyping, for the improvement of yield, and abiotic and biotic stress tolerance.
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: willow breeding and genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: maize breeding and genetics
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: plant molecular genetics and small grains breeding; comparative genomics
Hale Ann Tufan - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics; Agriculture and Life Sciences: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: Dr. Tufan leads the gender initiative of the NextGEN cassava project, seeking to enhance links between women smallholders and plant breeders across five partner institutions, in Nigeria, Uganda and the US.
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: forage breeding and genetics
Courtney A Weber - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: breeding and molecular genetics of small fruits, especially strawberries and raspberries
Kenong Xu - (Ithaca)
Concentrations: Plant Breeding: plant breeding; plant genetics Research Interests: tree fruit genomics