A new institute that will focus on the science of creating new and improved plant varieties that are higher yielding, disease resistant, nutritious or simply of greater ornamental value has been established at UGA.
The Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics was created to harness the efforts of experts and push forward the improvement of plants. Researchers working at the institute develop improved crop cultivars using both traditional and modern genetic technologies.
“We are pulling research together from across the state under a single umbrella so we can create better products,” said Charles Brummer, institute director.
Agronomic and horticultural crops must constantly be improved to adjust to climate change, ensure grower profits, create crop diversity and meet consumer demands for aesthetically-pleasing plant materials, according to Brummer.
The new institute aims to serve as a world leader in the introduction of new cultivars from a range of species through the integration of related disciplines. The majority of the institute’s researchers are faculty members in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Institute scientists also work with industry plant breeders and other scientists involved in plant improvement.
In addition to its research component, the institute offers educational opportunities including graduate degrees in plant breeding, genetics and genomics and undergraduate research opportunities.