Biology Education Centre

Genetic and molecular plant science

Genetic & moelcular plant science

This specialisation is a collaboration between Uppsala University, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Stockholm University. The collaboration offers a high quality programme with an explicit orientation towards research where each educational institution contributes with its strong profile.

The goal of this specialisation is to reach an understanding of processes in living plants; growth, development and plant interaction with the environment  – knowledge that can be used in plant breeding, biotechnology or conservation issues. Knowledge about plants and their interactions are fundamental to work with sustainable development. The programme also provides an excellent basis for continued research.

Information about the specialisation

The first course, Plant Growth and Development, is given at Uppsala University. It has a focus on the mechanisms at molecular, cell and organismal level controlling different phases of plant development. Plant growth and development are genetically programmed but to a large extent also controlled by external signals – an example is the many the many plant species that do not flower until they have been exposed to a period of low temperature. In addition to studying hormones and genetic functions, we also study how factors such as light and temperature affect the development of plants. The course also contains an introduction to master studies.

Next course, Genetic diversity and plant breeding, is given by The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and treats biodiversity and selection, plant breeding, comparative genetics, biotechnology issues and bioinformatics tools within the plant breeding area.

The spring term will start with the course Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (Stockholm University), focusing on the interaction among plants and their environment, for example symbiosis and effects on plants attacked by insects and microorganisms. Within this course there is also a five week project work.

In the last period of the first year, the course Functional Genomics is recommended. This course is focused on whole-genome studies of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Sequencing and analysis at the whole-genome level (genomics) is covered in depth, including different sequencing techniques and strategies, genome organisation and structure, comparative genomics and evolutionary issues.

During the second year you can choose additional courses or combine a research training period and a degree project of 30 or 45 hp credit points.

At all three Universities organising this education together, high-class research in plant biology is conducted. The courses are organised jointly by prominent and engaged researchers at the three Universities. The research at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is assembled within the joint Linnean Centre for Plant Science.

Career opportunities

The main goal of this specialisation is to prepare the students for PhD studies and research in plant biology and related biological sciences, and for qualified assignments within private companies or governmental agencies and other organisations. You will automatically get a network of contacts within the three universities and through your teachers you can reach contacts within the international research community.

The programme will give you knowledge and skills for a career in research and development within governmental agencies or private companies with a profile towards plant breeding, biotechnology or pharmacognosy.