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Department overview

Faculty and students in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology work to advance knowledge of basic plant and microbial biology. The knowledge they create enriches society and advances the applied sciences. 

Teaching and research programs in the department cover molecular, biochemical, cellular, developmental, physiological, organismal, ecological, and evolutionary biology of plants, algae and fungi.

Specific areas of research for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees include gene expression, chromosome structure, plant growth substances, signal transduction, plant responses to stress, the plant cytoskeleton and cell morphogenesis, metabolic activities during development, cellular structure and ultrastructure of vascular and nonvascular plants, aquatic biology, lichenology, molecular evolution and systematics, mycology, palynology, and physiology.

The department's mission is to increase knowledge of and to provide education in the basic plant and microbial sciences by engaging in fundamental research from the molecular to the ecosystem level.