PBGB Courses

Courses required for M.S. candidates (Univeristy requires 30 credits for graduation)

  • STT 814: Advanced Statistics Biologists (3 credits)

  • CSS 819: Advanced Plant Breeding (3 credits)

  • BMB 856: Plant Molecular & Omic Biology or CSS 451: Biotech for Plant Breeding (3 credits)

  • HRT 820: Plant Reproductive Biology & Polyploidy (1 credit)

  • PBGB seminars or equivalent (2 credits)

  • 1 computational course (e.g. quantitative genetics/populations, statistics modules, programming course) approved by student’s thesis committee

  • Research (6-10 credits)

Courses required for Ph.D candidates (University recommends 24 course credits for graduation)

  • BMB 856: Plant Molecular & Omic Biology (3 credits)

  • CSS 819: Advanced Plant Breeding (3 credits)

  • STT 814: Advanced Statistics Biologists (3 credits)

  • One computational course (e.g. quantitative genetics/populations, statistics modules, programming course) approved by student’s thesis committee

  • PLB 812: Plant Genomics (3 credits)

  • PBGB seminars or equivalent (3 credits total)

  • Research (24 credits)


Additional courses clustered by topic area:

Plant Breeding


  • HRT/CSS/FOR 821Crop Evolution. Spring of odd years. 1 credit. Cultural and biological aspects of the evolution of domestic plants. Please note: classes are not being taught this cycle, but will resume in 2013.
  • HRT/CSS/FOR 822 Historical Geography of Crop Plants. Spring of odd years. 1 credit. Development and spread of the major crop species. Please note: classes are not being taught this cycle, but will resume in 2013.
  • ZOL 445 Evolution. Fall. Prereq: ZOL 341. 3 credits. Processes of evolutionary change in animals, plants. Microbes. Population genetics, microevolution, speciation, adaptive radiation, macroevolution. Origin of Homo sapiens.
  • ZOL 849 Evolutionary Biology. Spring. Prereq: ZOL 341 and STT422. 3 credits. Major conceptual, theoretical and empirical questions in evolutionary biology. Readings and lectures are synthesized in student discussions and papers.
  • ZOL 855 Molecular Evolution: Principles and Techniques. Fall of odd years. Prereq: ZOL 341 or ZOL 445. 3 credits. Current techniques used to characterize and compare genes and genomes. Genetic variation, assays of variation. Data analysis and computer use to conduct a phylogenetic analysis to compare organisms and infer relationships.


  • CSS 941 Quantitative Genetics in Plant Breeding. Spring of even years. 3 credits. Theoretical and genetic basis of statistical analysis of quantitative traits using genetic markers. Computational tools for the study of quantitative traits.
  • FOR 842 Population Genetics, Genealogy and Genomics. Fall. 3 credits. Population genetic processes underlying patterns of molecular genetic variation. Genealogical approaches to the study of genomic diversity, phylogenetic reconstruction, and molecular ecology.
  • ANS 870 Techniques for Analyzing Unbalance Research Data. Spring. 4 credits. Linear model techniques to analyze biological research data characterized by missing and unequal number of observations in classes. Simultaneous consideration of multiple factors. Prediction of breeding values and estimation of population parameters from variance and covariance components.

Molecular Biology

  • BMB 801 Molecular Biology. Fall. 3 credits. Organization of genes. Regulation of gene expression, replication, and recombination.
  • BMB 802 Metabolic Regulation & Signal Transduction. Spring. 3 credits. Molecular basis for metabolic regulation. Molecular signalling mechanisms and mechanisms for allosteric and covalent protein modifications.
  • BMB 803 Protein Structure and Function. Fall. 2 credits. Protein structure and relationship of function to structure. Applications of kinetic methods to elucidation of enzyme mechanisms and regulation.
  • BMB 960 Selected Topics in Biochemistry I. Fall and Spring. 1 to 2 credits. Contemporary biochemical research topics in such areas as biochemical genetics, biochemistry of development, biochemical evolution, complex proteins, or lipid metabolism.
  • MMG 833 Microbial Genetics. Fall. 3 credits. Gene structure and function. Genetic regulation at classical and molecular levels in prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes.
  • MMG/GEN 835 Eucaryotic Molecular Genetics. Spring. 3 credits. Gene structure and function in animals, plants, and fungi. Basic aspects of modern human genetics and the genetic basis for disease. Molecular genetic analyses. Eukaryotic modeling systems.

Physiology, Development & Anatomy

  • PLB 415 Plant Physiology: Growth, Development and the Environment. Spring. 3 credits. Principles of plant growth and development. Environmental and hormonal factors that control progression of the plant through its life cycle. Tissue culture and genetic engineering in plants.
  • PLB 434 Plant Structure and Function. Spring. 4 credits.Plant anatomy from a structural and functional perspective. Physiological, developmental, and ecological significance of cell types, tissue types, and meristems of vegetative and reproductive plant parts.
  • HRT/CSS 853 Plant Mineral Nutrition. Fall of odd years. 3 credits. Inorganic ion transport in plant cells and tissues. Physiological responses and adaptation to problem soils. Genetic diversity in nutrient uptake and use by plants. Physiological roles of elemental nutrients in crop growth.
  • PLB 863 Environmental Plant Physiology. Spring of odd years. 3 credits.Interaction of plant and environment. Photobiology, thermophysiology, and plant-water relations.
  • PLB 865 Plant Growth and Development. Fall. 3 credits. Physiology and biochemistry of growth and development as regulated by internal and external factors. Biosynthesis and action of plant hormones. Environmental factors: light and temperature.

Cellular and Cytology

  • BMB 825 Cell Structure and Function. Spring. 3 credits. Molecular basis of structure and function. Cell properties: reproduction, dynamic organization, integration, programmed and integrative information transfer. Original investigations in all five kingdoms.
  • CSS 827 Techniques in Cytogenetics. Fall of odd years. 1 credit.Preparation of chromosomes from commercially important plants for cytogenetic analysis.


  • ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology. Fall every year and Summer of even years. 3 credits. Biological adaptations of insects to the environment. Evolution, behavior, ecology, metamorphosis, classification, importance to humans, and pest management.
  • PLP/BOT 405 Plant Pathology. Spring. 3 credits. Plant diseases and the organisms that cause them. Principles of disease management including application of chemicals, plant breeding, biological control, and genetic engineering.
  • PLP/BOT 880 Plant Virology. Fall of odd years. 4 credits. Biology and molecular aspects of viruses causing plant disease.
  • PLP/BOT 881 Molecular and Biochemical Plant Pathology. Spring of odd years. 3 credits. Biochemical and molecular bases of host-pathogen interactions. Mechanisms of pathogenicity and the nature of disease resistance.
  • PLP/BOT 885 Plant Diseases in the Field. Summer of odd years. 2 credits. Diagnosis of plant diseases and disorders in a field setting. Field trips and independent study required.
  • ENT 851 Molecular Entomology. Fall of odd years. 3 credits. Analysis of molecular processes unique to insects, and their potentials for genetic engineering.
  • ENT/PLP 870 Nematode Management in Crop Systems. Summer of even years. 3 credits. Biology, host parasite relationships and management by farming and cropping systems of selected nematode diseases of economic plants.


  • NSC 830 Nature and Practice of Science. Fall and Spring. 1 credit. Foundations of scientific inquiry. Recommended scientific best-practices including principles and practices of research integrity and professionalism. Evaluation of scientific quality and productivity.
  • NSC 840 Writing in the Sciences. Fall, Spring, Summer. 2 credits. Discussion and critique of students' writing in peer response workshop groups
  • SME/NSC 870 Teaching College Science. Spring. Prereq: One year of graduate study in a biological or physical science. 2 credits. Philosophies of education. Ethnic, gender, and cultural issues. Designing a laboratory course. Problems of class size. Instructional technologies. Assessment and evaluation.
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