Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Applied Plant Sciences Minor

Agronomy & Plant Genetics
Horticultural Science
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, 411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108-6026 (612-625-4742; fax: 612-625-1268)
Email: apsc@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2022
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 7
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
The Applied Plant Sciences minor provides students in other fields an opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise in plant sciences at the molecular, organismal, and community levels with applications to sustainable production of horticultural and agronomic crops.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students interested in the minor are strongly encouraged to confer with their major field advisor and director of graduate studies, and the Applied Plant Sciences director of graduate studies regarding feasibility and requirements.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Coursework is determined in consultation with the Applied Plant Sciences director of graduate studies.
Required Course (1 Credit)
Select 1 of the following courses in consultation with the Applied Plant Sciences director of graduate studies:
APSC 8270 - Graduate Seminar (2.0 cr)
or APSC 8280 - Current Topics in Applied Plant Sciences (1.0-3.0 cr)
Electives (6 to 11 credits)
Master's students select at least 6 credits, and doctoral students select at least 11 credits from the following to meet minimum credit requirements. Courses are selected in consultation with the Applied Plant Sciences director of graduate studies.
AGRO 4505 - Biology, Ecology, and Management of Invasive Plants (3.0 cr)
AGRO 4605 - Strategies for Agricultural Production and Management (3.0 cr)
AGRO 4888 - Issues in Sustainable Agriculture (2.0 cr)
AGRO 5021 - Plant Breeding Principles (3.0 cr)
AGRO 5311 - Research Methods in Crop Improvement and Production (1.0 cr)
AGRO 5321 - Ecology of Agricultural Systems (3.0 cr)
AGRO 5431 - Applied Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
AGRO 5999 - Special Topics: Workshop in Agronomy (1.0-6.0 cr)
AGRO 8023 - Evolution of Crop Plants (3.0 cr)
AGRO 8202 - Breeding for Quantitative Traits in Plants (3.0 cr)
AGRO 8241 - Chromosomal and Molecular Genetics of Plant Improvement (3.0 cr)
APSC 8201 - Advanced Plant Breeding (3.0 cr)
EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics (3.0 cr)
GCD 4034 - Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3.0 cr)
GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3.0 cr)
HORT 4062 - Turfgrass Weed and Disease Science (3.0 cr)
HORT 4063 - Turfgrass Science (3.0 cr)
HORT 4071W - Applications of Biotechnology to Plant Improvement [WI] (3.0 cr)
HORT 4141W - Scheduling Crops for Protected Environments [WI] (4.0 cr)
HORT 4461 - Horticultural Marketing (3.0 cr)
HORT 5007 - Advanced Plant Propagation (3.0 cr)
HORT 5011 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
HORT 5012 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
HORT 5023 - Public Garden Management (2.0 cr)
HORT 5031 - Fruit Production and Viticulture for Local and Organic Markets (3.0 cr)
HORT 5032 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
HORT 5058 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
HORT 5061 {Inactive} (2.0 cr)
HORT 5071 - Ecological Restoration (4.0 cr)
HORT 5131 - Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing, and Marketing (3.0 cr)
HORT 8044 - Manipulation of Plant Growth and Reproduction (2.0 cr)
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5480 - Principles of Plant Pathology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications (3.0 cr)
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology (3.0 cr)
PMB 5412 - Plant Physiology and Development (3.0 cr)
PMB 5516 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
PMB 5601 - Topics in Plant Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
SAGR 8010 - Colloquium in Sustainable Agriculture (2.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Masters
Doctoral
 
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· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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· Fall 2022

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APSC 8270 - Graduate Seminar
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Examine qualities of effective scientific presentations. Develop skills in presenting scientific information effectively. Practice public speaking skills. Presenting scientific information to the general public. Organize a seminar series. prereq: Grad major in Applied Plant Sciences or instructor consent
APSC 8280 - Current Topics in Applied Plant Sciences
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This variable-credit course is a forum for learning and discussing contemporary topics in applied plant sciences. The topics covered differ according to the instructor and term that the class is taught.
AGRO 4505 - Biology, Ecology, and Management of Invasive Plants
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Ecology/biology of invasive plant species (weeds). Principles of invasive plant management in agricultural/horticultural, urban, wetland, aquatic, and other non-cropland landscape systems, utilizing biological, cultural, and chemical means. Management strategies to design systems that optimize invasive plant management in terms of economic, environmental, and social impacts. prereq: 4005, [Bio 3002 or equiv], Soil 2125, [Agro 2501 or Hort 1011]
AGRO 4605 - Strategies for Agricultural Production and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Information/tools necessary to make informed land management decisions in ever-evolving economic, policy, climate environments. Evaluate hows, whats, whys of crop management by solving real-world problems that agricultural professionals face. State-of-the-art production/management practices for major agricultural crops in Minnesota. Lectures feature agricultural professionals/experts. Lab component provides hands-on experience with modern equipment/data interpretation. prereq: 1101 or equivalent, [CHEM1015/17 or equivalent], SOIL1125 or equivalent], [jr or sr or grad student or instr consent]
AGRO 4888 - Issues in Sustainable Agriculture
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Agroecology, sustainable practices, production economics, environmental quality, holistic resource management, healthy food/water, rural communities. Meet sustainable-agriculture advocates, including farmers, faculty, and representatives of non-profit sustainable-agriculture organizations. prereq: 1103, Soil 1125 or 2125 or equiv
AGRO 5021 - Plant Breeding Principles
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is intended for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students that are either: 1) not plant breeding majors who will benefit from a basic understanding of how genetics is applied to plant improvement; or 2) plant breeding majors lacking prior coursework in plant breeding. The objective of this course is to develop an understanding of the underlying principles, ideas, and concepts important to applying genetic principles to plant breeding, evaluating breeding methods, and enhancing genetic progress and efficiency.
AGRO 5311 - Research Methods in Crop Improvement and Production
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Demonstrations and discussions of techniques in crop improvement and/or production research. Presentations integrate biotechnology with traditional breeding methods; production sessions emphasize ecologically sound cropping systems. prereq: applied plant sciences grad
AGRO 5321 - Ecology of Agricultural Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Agro/Ent 5321
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ecological approach to problems in agricultural systems. Formal methodologies of systems inquiry are developed/applied. prereq: [3xxx or above] course in [Agro or AnSc or Ent or Hort or PlPa or Soil] or instr consent
AGRO 5431 - Applied Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Analysis, interpretation, visualization of large plant genomic datasets. Basic computer programming, applying large-scale genomics to answer basic/applied biological questions, understanding limitations of each application, presenting concise visual findings from large-scale datasets. prereq: Grad student or [undergrad with genetics course]
AGRO 5999 - Special Topics: Workshop in Agronomy
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Workshops on various topics in agronomy and plant genetics. Presenters/faculty may include guest lecturers/experts. Topics specified in class schedule.
AGRO 8023 - Evolution of Crop Plants
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Origin, distribution, and evolution of cultivated plants; implication of the effects of evolutionary processes on crop breeding for needs of people today. prereq: 9 grad cr in ag or bio science
AGRO 8202 - Breeding for Quantitative Traits in Plants
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Principles and concepts of population and quantitative genetics/application in designing and implementing a plant breeding program/theory, experimental approaches, and evidence that form the basis for these concepts and breeding strategies. prereq: [5201, STAT 5021] or instr consent
AGRO 8241 - Chromosomal and Molecular Genetics of Plant Improvement
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Mixture of classic/current info in molecular plant genetics, biotech, and genomics. Students devise experiments in breeding, genetics, genomics, physiology, cellular/molecular biology, and other areas. prereq: Introductory Genetics course
APSC 8201 - Advanced Plant Breeding
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This course covers the principles underlying the application of genetics and statistics to cultivar development; evaluation of breeding methods; and methods to enhance genetic progress and efficiency through the application of statistical genetics, genomics, and molecular markers. In terms of format, this course is combination of lecture, discussion, and computer lab, varying according to the topic. An emphasis will be placed on classical and current literature to teach concepts, as well as hands-on experience with data analysis. Introductory courses in plant breeding/genetics and statistics. Knowledge of population and quantitative genetics would be useful but not required.
EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamentals of quantitative genetics. Genetic/environmental influences on expression of quantitative traits. Approaches to characterizing genetic basis of trait variation. Processes that lead to change in quantitative traits. Applied/evolutionary aspects of quantitative genetic variation. prereq: [BIOL 4003 or GCD 3022] or instr consent; a course in statistics is recommended
GCD 4034 - Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Molecular genetics and genomics of eukaryotes. Course emphasizes mechanisms of gene regulation and how these are studied. Current strategies used to study the activity and function of genes and genomes, including the role of chromatin, will be covered. Techniques will include gene knockouts/knockdown, genome engineering, genome-wide analysis of RNA and protein expression and function, as well as genome-wide protein binding and chromatin interaction mapping. Technologies covered will include next-generations and third-generation sequencing and CRISPR-based strategies for gene modification and precision gene regulation. Students will analyze and present recent primary papers in molecular genetic and genomics. Prerequisite: BIOL 4003
GCD 8131 - Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Literature-based course in modern molecular genetic and genomic analysis. Students will gain a deep understanding of the fundamental molecular mechanisms controlling inheritance in biological systems. Students will gain a facility in thinking critically and creatively about how genes work at cellular, organismal, and transgenerational levels. Course instruction emphasizes active-learning approaches, student presentations, and group projects. prereq: [3022 or BIOL 4003], [BIOC 3021 or BIOC 4331] or instr consent
HORT 4062 - Turfgrass Weed and Disease Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Turfgrass weed/disease problems. How to deal with these problems using an integrated approach. Biology, identifying features, and management strategies for several turfgrass diseases/weeds. How to apply IPM principles to turfgrass weed/disease problems. prereq: [4061, PLPA 2001] or instr consent
HORT 4063 - Turfgrass Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Ecology, physiology, and theory of turf population dynamics. Specialized management situations such as golf course, commercial sod production, and fine turf athletic settings. prereq: 4061
HORT 4071W - Applications of Biotechnology to Plant Improvement (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This online course with required synchronous meetings is designed to provide a foundation in the theory and application of plant biotechnology used in crop improvement. The online lecture meets twice per week to introduce and discuss the basic concepts of plant genetics, molecular biology, DNA manipulation, plant tissue culture, gene introduction, and analysis of gene expression. The diversity of perspectives surrounding the application of biotechnology to plant improvement will be discussed. Course content consists of lecture, reading assignments, practice writing, peer review, discussions, and group work. prereq: [Biol 1009 or equiv or grad student], instr consent
HORT 4141W - Scheduling Crops for Protected Environments (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Hort 4141W/Hort 6141
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the identification, scheduling, and cultural requirements of commercially produced vegetables, herbs, ornamental flowers, and foliage plants, gain experience in growing them, and conduct experiments to understand current problems. The course builds on knowledge obtained in Hort 1001 or Hort 1015, by adding in additional factors of plant growth coupled with scheduling and growing of crops which commercial growers would experience. The role of ornamental plants in the human environment will be discussed, with special emphasis on future issues. Writing is an integral component of this course; one major paper is revised and expanded multiple times plus other course writing fulfill the writing intensive requirement. Through the use of interactive learning, field trips, written assignments, and in-class discussions students learn crop requirements and the interactions between the marketing distribution system of breeders, producers, distributors, growers, retailers, and consumers. Prerequisites: HORT 1001/6011 Additional Preferred Courses: HORT 1015
HORT 4461 - Horticultural Marketing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: ApEc 4461/Hort 4461
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Major areas in horticultural marketing. Difference between horticultural products and commercial commodities. Core marketing components that should be used by every small horticultural business. Approaches to consumer research.
HORT 5007 - Advanced Plant Propagation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Control of growth/development in sexual/asexual reproduction of plants. Effects of environment, plant growth substances. Protocols on dormancy, origin, development of adventitious structures. Specialized propagation techniques. Lecture, lab. prereq: 1001 or BIOL 2022
HORT 5023 - Public Garden Management
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Overview of knowledge/skills necessary to manage a public garden. History of public gardens. Development of mission and vision. Planning and design. Operations. Education and research. Fund raising, business management, personnel, marketing, conservation.
HORT 5031 - Fruit Production and Viticulture for Local and Organic Markets
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Principles of fruit production. Temperature fruit crops. Integrated management of fruit cropping systems. Site selection, cultural management practices, taxonomic classification, physiological/environmental control of plant development. Writing. prereq: [1001, 3005] or instr consent
HORT 5071 - Ecological Restoration
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: ESPM 5071/Hort 5071
Typically offered: Every Fall
Each ecosystem restoration is the product of a myriad of decisions made in response to existing site conditions (biotic and abiotic), anticipated effects from the surrounding landscape, predictions about future events, logistical realities, and, of course, desired conditions. During this course, you will learn about the ecological and social factors that affect ecosystem recovery and how people intervene to reverse ecosystem degradation. The course includes examples from ecosystems around the world, with emphasis on those found in the Midwestern US. Field trips. PREREQUISITES: This course presumes previous courses in basic ecology and plant science.
HORT 5131 - Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing, and Marketing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Agro 3131/Agro 5131/Hort 3131/
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students plan/implement cropping/marketing strategies for organic produce/flowers from Student Organic Farm on St. Paul campus. prereq: 1001 or AGRO 1101 or AGRO 1103 or BIOL 1001 or BIOL 1009 or instr consent
HORT 8044 - Manipulation of Plant Growth and Reproduction
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Impact of environmental and genetic factors on crop growth, development, and reproduction. Emphasis on whole plant physiology and plant response to the environment as determined by genotype and its manipulation for the purpose of producing a crop. Lectures, discussion of current literature, and projects. prereq: PBio 5412
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Summer
Characteristics of a variety of plant diseases. Field trips to observe symptoms and effects of diseases, and to learn about prevention and control of diseases in field, forest, golf course, greenhouse, nursery, orchard, and urban environments.
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Fungi are a critical component of the diversity and function of terrestrial ecosystems, affecting decomposition, plant nutrient uptake, and agricultural practices. Key components of fungal biology, including ecology, genetics, life cycles and diversity. Labs provide hands on experience with a diverse range of organisms. prereq: BIOL 1009 or equiv
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to large scale data in plant biology. Emphasizes model plants and important agricultural crops focusing on new approaches and technologies in the field. Fundamentals, acquisition, and analysis of high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing, high-throughput plant phenotyping, functional and comparative genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. prereq: Intro course in genetics or instr consent
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts and recent research in the ecology, epidemiology, and evolutionary/coevolutionary biology of plant-microbe interactions spanning the range from parasitic to mutualistic in agricultural and natural habitats. prereq: Intro plant pathology or advanced biology coursework recommended
PLPA 5480 - Principles of Plant Pathology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is intended for graduate students and undergraduate students in their third or fourth year that are interested in learning about principles of plant pathology, diseases that affect plants, microbiology and microbial and plant interactions. In this course students will learn principles of plant pathology through lectures and demonstrations and exercises in laboratory. Students will gain knowledge of mycology and select diseases caused by fungi within Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and the fungal-like Oomycota. Diseases caused by bacteria, nematodes, viruses, parasitic plants and abiotic damage are also examined. Lectures will include information concerning the history and importance of plant pathology, mycology, bacteriology, nematology, virology, infection process, genetics of host and microorganism interactions, epidemiology of diseases and disease control strategies. In the hands-on laboratory period the student will learn laboratory skills, gain experience using the microscope, work with microorganisms, learn diagnostic skills, and be able to recognize 30 plant diseases. prereq: BIOL 1009 or equiv
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamentals of disease resistance in plants and the genetics of host-parasite interactions as they relate to the sustainable control of plant diseases. Examples explored at the Mendelian, populational, and molecular level of organization. prereq: 2001, BIOL 4003
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Genetics, physiology, and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions. Communication between plants/microbes. Signal transduction, control of gene expression, symbiosis/parasitism, plant host response mechanisms, plant disease physiology. prereq: Intro course in plant pathology or molecular biology or equiv
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Characteristics, biology, epidemiology, and control of plant diseases caused by viruses. prereq: 5480
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Bacteria interact with plants in various ways depending upon environmental conditions, nutrient status, and host plant genotypes. The outcome of these interactions can result in the plant associated bacteria being pathogens, or mutualists. In the Plant Bacteriology course, we will examine several bacterial diseases in-depth to understand the disease cycles, epidemiology, mechanisms of pathogenesis, beneficial microbes, and means of disease control. The laboratory section will focus on techniques used to identify bacteria, for inoculating plants, isolating bacteria from plant material, and methods to understand the plant-bacterial interactions. The first hour of most class sessions will consist primarily of lectures by the instructor followed by group discussion of assigned readings. Laboratory sessions will occur for 90 minutes and are designed to illustrate concepts presented during the lecture/discussion sessions. prereq: 5480
PMB 5412 - Plant Physiology and Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: PMB 4412/PMB 5412
Typically offered: Every Fall
Plant physiology and development is the study of how plant cells, tissues and whole organisms grow and function in response to internal and external cues. PMB 4412/5412 covers the classic plant physiology and development processes including plant water relations, mineral nutrition, membrane transport, photosynthesis, respiration, vascular function, metabolism, growth and development, and hormone responses. The physics underlying our understanding of these physiological systems will also be addressed. Other areas of plant science such as plant genetics and biochemistry are covered in other courses and will not be emphasized this course. There are no enforced prerequisites for this course. The following preparation is recommended: PMB 2022 General Botany or PMB 3007W Plant Algal and Fungal Diversity; General Chemistry and Introductory Physics.
PMB 5601 - Topics in Plant Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Biochemical analysis of processes unique to photosynthetic organisms. Photosynthesis and carbon dioxide fixation. Synthesis of carbohydrates, lipids, and derivatives. Aromatic compounds such as lignin, other natural products. Functions of natural products. prereq: [BIOL 1002 or BIOL 1009 or BIOL 2003], CHEM 2301
SAGR 8010 - Colloquium in Sustainable Agriculture
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Forum for University faculty and students, and representatives of the farming community, including farmers, grassroots organizations, agricultural businesses, and representatives of state agencies, to engage in discussions on topics related to sustainability of food production. prereq: Coursework in biological or social sciences that provides intro to ag practices or issues