Undergraduate Program 

Diploma Program




Plant Science Program Info

The Department of Plant Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and draws together expertise in both the applied and basic sciences. Since its origin in 1937, the Department has been a leader in agricultural research in Canada - creator of the first canola variety and the first hybrid rapeseed variety. It is a leader in canola and cereal breeding, cytogenetics and plant biotechnology. The Department of Plant Science has active research programs directed at developing superior cultivars and new production systems suited to the changing needs of producers and the agri-food industry, and is involved in international activities, and training and development with many countries. The Department maintains excellent working relationships and is involved in joint projects with scientists and specialists from both federal and provincial government agricultural agencies and with industrial partners.

A wide range of employment opportunities await M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates from the Department of Plant Science, including research and teaching positions at universities throughout the world, research and extension positions with the federal and provincial governments, and positions in private industry.

The Department of Plant Science has excellent research facilities:

  • Well-equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories
  • Ample greenhouse space and controlled-environment chambers
  • 60 hectare field-research station located on the U of M campus
  • 165 hectare field-research station located at Carman, Manitoba on prime agricultural soil

Fields of Research

Programs of study and research are offered in the following areas, leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees:

Agronomy and Plant Protection

  • Farming systems and agronomy field research focusing on plant-soil interactions, corn and soybean agronomy, and cover crops
  • Weed biology, ecology, and management including understanding plant function and plant-microbe interactions in agricultural systems
  • Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions
  • Host-pathogen interactions of canola and wheat pathogens, breeding for resistance, and understanding biological control mechanisms of a tripartite system

Plant Breeding and Genetics

  • Breeding, evaluation and productivity of herbaceous perennial species for grain and oilseed production
  • Breeding, genetics and the improvement of hybrid rapeseed and canola for agronomic traits, disease resistance and end-use quality
  • Traditional and molecular wheat breeding and genetics with emphasis on resistance to Fusarium head blight and other residue-borne diseases of wheat

Sustainable Cropping Systems

  • Ecological and organic agriculture with specialties in crop diversity, crop-livestock interaction and farmer participatory crop variety development

Plant Physiology-Biochemistry

  • Study of plant hemoglobins and their function in growth, development and plant adaptation to environmental stress
  • Physiological and molecular regulation of in vivo and in vitro embryogenesis with emphasis on the role of plant hemoglobins during embryo development and stress responses
  • Elucidating hormonal regulation of the performance and abiotic stress tolerance of cereal crops, and understanding of the physiological and genomic basis of cereals as bioenergy feedstock

Plant Biotechnology, Genomics and Bioinformatics

  • Computational biology of plant defense genes; Development of bioinformatics software and analytical methodologies
  • Canola genomics with focuses on gene functional analysis of resistance to blackleg and clubroot and other traits

Contact for program and funding information.