During their first year, students carry out short term (6-8 weeks) experimental projects in the laboratories of three different faculty field members. These rotations provide experience in different research areas and various lab 'atmospheres' and environments before selecting a thesis major advisor by the end of May.
Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory
This one-semester course (BioPl6410) emphasizes key techniques adapted to plant systems, such as QTL analysis and map-based cloning, proteomics, laser capture micro-dissection and microarrays, HPLC analysis of amino acids and plant transformation, and is designed to be integrated with the lecture course BioPL4831 Concepts and Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology.
Depending on their interests and background, students often take one or two courses in Plant Biochemistry (BioPl4620), Plant Development (BioPl4420), Molecular Systematics (BioPl4470) or Phylogenetic Systematics (BioPl440) and other Plant topics at the 400 or 600 level (see the complete Plant Biology course listing)
A variety of one-credit, 12-lecture specialized lecture courses (BioPl482*, 483*, 6540,6560 and others) are offered on a range of topics each year. Regularly offered topics are plant sexual reproduction, organelle biogenesis, cell walls, genetic diversity, plant evolution, proteomics and mass spectrometry, and others. Designed to be small graduate-level classes, these modules emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of research to provide students with new developments in plant science and provide close contacts with the entire faculty.
Students can add other courses as their interests and background dictate and are not limited to courses offered by Plant Biology Departmental faculty. Indeed many students take advantage of courses offered other departments, such as those in Ecology, MBG, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and others. For the full range of courses taught by Plant Biology faculty, see this listing.
The weekly student seminar series (BioPl7440, 7450 and 7460) are student seminars (each student once per year) on his or her thesis research, typically followed by a meeting with the students thesis committee members. Internationally recognized speakers are invited to speak about their work as part of the weekly Plant Biology seminar series (BioPl7400).