Department overview

Our mission is to conduct fundamental research and provide education in plant and microbial biology.


The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (PMB), led by Dr. Gary Muehlbauer, comprises a diverse and integrative group of scientists who study the genetics, ecology, evolution, and molecular biology of plants, fungi and microbes. Our undergraduate and graduate programs prepare our students for a variety of career paths, including research, education, biotechnology and environmental policy.

The College of Biological Sciences Conservatory is run by the department. With more than 1,200 species from around the world organized into five biomes, the Conservatory is home to the most diverse collection of plants in the region.

Affiliated research and outreach facilities include the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, the Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute, the BioTechnology Institute, the Biotechnology Resource Center, the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, the Biological Imaging Centers, the University of Minnesota Herbarium of the J. F. Bell Museum of Natural History, Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, and Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.