Our students are expected to acquire a general knowledge of the major disciplines associated with experimental plant biology. Thus, all PRL students normally complete at least four graduate courses in the general areas of molecular biology, genetics, plant development, plant physiology, biochemistry or cell biology. To provide flexibility, the courses are usually chosen from among those required by the Genetics Program, the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Thus, it is not necessary to complete additional coursework to meet the requirements of both the PRL and an academic program or department. However, on the advice of the guidance committee, additional coursework may be required to alleviate deficiencies in background.

Selected Graduate Courses:


GEN 835: Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics
Gene structure and function in animals, plants, and fungi. Basic aspects of modern human genetics and the genetic basis for disease. Molecular genetic analyses. Eukaryotic modeling systems.

PLB 856:  Plant Molecular and -Omic Biology
Recent advances in genetics and molecular biology of higher plants.

PLB 865:  Plant Growth and Development
Genetics and molecular biology of development in higher plants as influenced by genes and environment. Biosynthesis, action and signal transduction of phytohormones and other signaling molecules. Initiation, formation and patterning of plant organs and cell types. Genetic mechanisms underlying developmental diversity.

PLP 881:  Molecular & Biochemical Plant Pathology
Biochemical and molecular bases of host-pathogen interactions. Mechanisms of pathogenicity and the nature of disease resistance.

MMG 833:  Microbial Genetics
Gene structure and function; genetic regulation at classical and molecular levels in prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes.

BMB 801:  Molecular Biology
Organization of genes, regulation of gene expression, replication and recombination.

BMB 802: Metabolic Regulation and Signal Transduction
Molecular basis for metabolic regulation, molecular signalling mechanisms, and mechanisms for allosteric and covalent protein modifications.

BMB 804:  Biochemical Mechanisms and Structure
Structures, methods of structural analysis, synthesis, and reaction mechanisms of biological substances including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, porphyrins, phosphate esters, enzymes, and coenzymes.

BMB 825:  Cell Structure and Function
Molecular basis of structure and function. Cell properties: reproduction, dynamic organization, integration, programmed and integrative information transfer. Original investigations in all five kingdoms.

BMB 829:  Methods of Macromolecular Analysis and Synthesis
Techniques of isolation and characterization of macromolecules; computer use in structure-function analysis.

BMB 864: Plant Biochemistry
Biochemistry unique to photosynthetic organisms. Photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport, nitrogen fixation, carbon dioxide fixation, lipid metabolism, carbon partitioning, cell walls, sulfur and nitrogen metabolism and specialized metabolism including isoprenoids, phenylpropanoids and alkaloids.

CEM 845:  Structure and Spectroscopy of Organic Compounds
Structural and stereochemical principles in organic chemistry. Applications of spectroscopic methods, especially nuclear magnetic resonance, static and dynamic aspects of stereochemistry. Spectroscopy in structure determination.

BMB 960 and 961,  NSC 837:
A number of special topics courses are offered that cover diverse subjects of importance to modern plant biology such as genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, systems biology, and confocal microscopy.