Graduate Studies in Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology

Raymond Schneider  |  7/20/2005 12:29:19 AM

This department has a long history of internationally recognized basic and applied research in agriculture. Climatic conditions in Louisiana allow cultivation and research of semitropical crop species such as rice, sugarcane, cotton, sweet potatoes and soybeans. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station personnel who are conducting investigations in plant pathology and crop physiology. Research problems may also be selected in plant molecular biology.

M.S and Ph.D. graduates of the department are prepared for appointments at universities, in government and private research labs or in international agricultural development. Other employment opportunities exist in agricultural chemical development, with government regulatory agencies or with private research foundations. Students may wish to emphasize biotechnology, a field with a variety of employment opportunities and a major research thrust.

Plant Pathology                                Crop Physiology
    Bacteriology                                      Biotechnology
    Biochemistry                                     Molecular Biology
    Disease Control                                 Physiological Ecology
    Epidemiology                                     Seed Physiology
    Genetics                                            Stress Physiology
    Integrated Pest Management               
    Molecular Biology
    Mycology
    Nematology
    Soilborne Plant Pathogens
    Virology

Plant Pathology: A plant pathologist is a scientist who specializes in diseases of plants that may be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes and abiotic agents. The task of keeping plants healthy calls for knowledge of these organisms as well as related disciplines such as biochemistry, botany, ecology, epidemiology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology and physiology. One or more of these disciplines are used to investigate the mechanisms by which pathogens cause disease and by which plants resist infection. Plant pathologists were among the first to use biotechnological and genetic engineering techniques in the plant sciences. Classical means of disease control, such as chemical, biological and cultural, also are studied.

Crop Physiology: Crop physiologists use basic and applied research to understand how plants function. Research in crop physiology has had major impacts on agricultural practices and our knowledge of life processes. It is an important component of the biotechnology revolution. Crop physiology has now become broadly defined and includes a wide range of areas including developmental biology, tissue culture, stress physiology and molecular biology. In addition to academic positions, crop physiologists work in government agencies to conduct research on improvements in food and fiber production and in the private sector in plant biotechnology and tissue culture laboratories, agricultural industries and environmental agencies.

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Note: Information available in the LSU Graduate Bulletin

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