Our mission is to understand and improve plant health.
What do we do? We learn how plants and pests interact and how the environment affects that interaction. We modify plants (and sometimes the environment) so they can fight diseases and improve yield, and so we can make new products with more uses and better quality. We transfer genes from wild plants to crop plants to increase genetic diversity.
We study bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses; bioinformatics, biological control, biotechnology (cell and tissue culture, plant transformation and regeneration), disease diagnosis and management, disease physiology, ecology and epidemiology, host and microbial genetics and cytogenetics, modeling/statistics, molecular genetics, and molecular plant-microbe interactions.
Why study plants? We study plant health to understand life. Plants, animals, and microbes share common basic features. Research on plant genomics helps define gene function in other forms of life, even humans. Plants feed, clothe, and protect us. They provide energy for a variety of uses. They enhance the quality of our lives. They are crucial to our existence.
How good is our work? Each year, our faculty publish 50 refereed journal articles in excellent journals, receive from $4 to $6 million in outside grants, and bring in 21 invited seminar speakers from around the world. Our faculty have received top honors from K-State and our professional societies.