Plant Biology

2014-15 Tuition

$20,800

Application deadlines

Fall: Dec. 1; no spring admission

Requirements summary

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test
  • GRE subject test in biology advised
  • TOEFL minimum score (Internet-based) -- Writing: 20; Listening: 15; Reading: 20; Speaking 22

Degrees

  • Ph.D.

Subjects

  • Plant Biology (Ph.D.)

Major concentrations

  • cytology
  • paleobotany
  • plant biochemistry
  • plant cell biology
  • plant ecology
  • plant molecular biology
  • plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics
  • plant physiology
  • systematic botany

In addition to studying a major subject in the Field of Plant Biology, students also take course work in two other minor subjects of their choice, either in or outside the field. The field has no language requirement.

Students who want to major in plant ecology are encouraged to apply through the Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Research facilities:
The field provides equipment and expertise in all research programs related to the special interests of the faculty. Instrumentation of modern molecular and biochemical techniques, visible and electron microscopy, biological spectrometry, and computing equipment are available. Growth chambers, cell culture and transformation facilities, greenhouses, and field plots are also readily available. Wiegand Herbarium, adjacent to the Plant Science Building, houses one of the nation's major systematics resources.

Application:
Applicants are required to submit scores on the GRE general test and are advised to submit scores on the GRE subject test in biology. On the general test, successful applicants usually have a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1200. Foreign applicants must also submit TOEFL scores. Prospective applicants are encouraged to correspond with faculty members in their area of interest. Additional details, including descriptions of courses available in the field, can be obtained from the graduate field office.

Thomas Bjorkman (Geneva) -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant physiology; cytology; Research interests: developmental physiology of vegetables; environmental regulation and root development
Thomas Brutnell -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: development of tools for functional genomics in maize; light dependent signal transduction pathways in maize
Alan Collmer -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: functional genomics of bacterial-pathogen interactions with emphasis on secreted bacterial virulence proteins
William Crepet -- Concentrations: paleobotany; systematic botany; Research interests: paleobotany; systematics and evolution of angiosperms; evolutionary history of floral structure and angiosperm pollination mechanisms
Peter Davies -- Concentrations: plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: hormonal regulation of plant growth and development, using defined genotypes
Jerrold Davis -- Concentrations: systematic botany; Research interests: botanical systematics; phylogenetics of monocots, particularly grasses; nature of species, and their delimitation
Jeffrey Doyle -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; systematic botany; Research interests: molecular plant systematics; gene phylogeny and evolution; evolution of nodulation
Elizabeth Earle -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; cytology; Research interests: plant tissue culture; gene transfer; disease and insect resistance; cytoplasmic male sterility
Susheng Gan -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; Research interests: plant genomics, molecular regulatory mechanisms and biotechnology of plant senescence; molecular post-harvest biology
James Giovannoni -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: molecular genetics of fruit development and ripening; plant biochemistry
Maureen Hanson -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; cytology; Research interests: organelle gene and genome structure and expression; RNA editing; nuclear genes for organelle proteins
Maria Harrison -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: molecular basis of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis; plant phosphate transport; plant phosphate nutrition; root biology
Jian Hua -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: molecular genetics of temperature responses in plants; regulation of plant defense responses
Georg Jander -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: plant-insect interactions; plant amino acid biosynthesis; plant biochemistry
Andre Kessler -- Concentrations: plant ecology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: molecular and chemical ecology; plant-insect interactions; induced plant responses to herbivory
Daniel Klessig -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: plant-virus interaction; signal transduction in defense responses; salicylic acid-mediated signaling
Leon Kochian -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant physiology; cytology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: molecular physiology of plant ion transport; plant abiotic stress tolerance; plant biochemistry
Stephen Kresovich -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: conservation genetics; characterization of genomic diversity crops
Sondra Lazarowitz -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: molecular virology; plant virus-host interactions; function of viral movement proteins
Ji-Young Lee -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: gene regulatory network of vascular tissues in plants
Li Li -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: enhancement of nutritional value of food crops
Melissa Luckow -- Concentrations: plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics; systematic botany; Research interests: phylogeny of flowering plants; legume systematics; cultivated plant families
Gregory Martin -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: molecular basis of disease resistance in plants; signal transduction; genomics; applications of genetic engineering
Susan McCouch -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: development and application of molecular tools for rice improvement
Martha Mutschler -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: pest resistance and use of wild species in tomato and onion
Mikhail Nasrallah -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; cytology; Research interests: reproductive biology related to cellular communication between the male gametophyte - somatic reproductive tissues of the pistil
June Nasrallah -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; cytology; Research interests: self-incompatibility phenomena; cell-cell interactions in plants
Karl Niklas -- Concentrations: plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics; paleobotany; Research interests: plant evolution, morphology, and biomechanics
Kevin Nixon -- Concentrations: systematic botany; Research interests: taxonomy of oaks (Quercus); cladistic theory; paleobotany and phylogeny of angiosperms; cladistic computer programs
Ralph Obendorf -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant physiology; cytology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: seed biology -- development, maturation, desiccation tolerance, germination, somatic embryogenesis, gene expression, enzymology; plant biochemistry
Thomas Owens -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: physiology; biophysics and regulation of photosynthesis; plant stress responses; plant biochemistry
Wojciech (Wojtek) Pawlowski -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: plant molecular biology; meiosis mechanisms of homologous chromosome pairing and meiotic recombination
Sorina Popescu -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: protein microarrays; plant signal transduction
Robert Raguso -- Concentrations: plant ecology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: chemical communication between flowering plants and their pollinators and natural enemies
Eric Richards -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; Research interests: epigenetics of Arabidopsis
Eloy Rodriguez -- Concentrations: plant ecology; systematic botany; plant biochemistry; Research interests: plant chemical systematics/evolution; medical botany; cellular phytochemistry; plant biochemistry
Adrienne Roeder -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics; plant physiology; Research interests: plant development; molecular genetics; cell division; cell differention
Jocelyn Rose -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: structure and function of plant cell walls and the critical role that primary walls play in the regulation of most aspects of plant growth and development
Michael Scanlon -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics; Research interests: plant development; comparative analysis of meristem function; evolution of leaf morphology
Timothy Setter -- Concentrations: plant physiology; Research interests: environmental stress response - hormonal and sugar signaling; cell division; reproductive abortion
Roger Spanswick -- Concentrations: plant physiology; Research interests: plant cell electrophysiology and ion transport; ATP-ases; photosynthate partitioning
Jed Sparks -- Concentrations: plant physiology; Research interests: plant physiological ecology; plant physiology; biosphere-atmosphere interactions; stable isotopes
David Stern -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: regulation of plant organelle gene expression by nuclear factors
Robert Turgeon -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant molecular biology; plant morphology, anatomy, and biomechanics; plant physiology; cytology; Research interests: phloem transport; carbohydrate synthesis; phloem loading; structure and function of plasmodesmata
Klaas Van Wijk -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; Research interests: chloroplast biogenesis; proteomics; mass spectrometry; protein complexes; Arabiodopsis; plant biochemistry
Olena Vatamaniuk -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; plant physiology; Research interests: molecular analysis of heavy metal detoxification in plants; proteome and metabolome responses to heave metal toxicity
Randy Wayne -- Concentrations: plant cell biology; plant physiology; cytology; Research interests: understanding plant cell responses of light, gravity, and salt stress
Stephen Winans -- Concentrations: plant molecular biology; Research interests: cell signaling between the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens and its plant hosts

Graduate School Professors (emeritus)

Mandayam Parthasarathy -- Concentrations: Research interests: cytoskeleton; cell motility; plasmodesmata structure and function