About the Institute
Plants have been instrumental for the development and establishment of Life on Earth. They provide our food and are the source of almost all energy used by mankind. Most alternative energy resources of the future are also likely to be plant-based.
The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture brings together more than 20 Plant Scientists that study a wide range of aspects of Plant Biology that are relevant to Agriculture, from the molecular and cellular levels, and all the way to the whole plant and field levels.
Basic developmental processes, interactions of plants with their environment, breeding and biotechnological applications, are some of the topics studied at our Institute, using physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic approaches.
Agriculturally important species such as wheat, sorghum, tomato and pepper are studied along with fruit and forest trees, and model species such as Arabidopsis and Brachypodium. The diversity of scientific questions, experimental approaches and studied species reflects our deep belief that a rich scientific environment and interaction between researchers with different backgrounds and expertise are all essential for creative and productive research. It also provides a stimulating environment for our students, whom we strive to train as future leaders in agriculture, research, biotechnology and education.
This diversity also allows us to offer 5 Study Programs: an undergraduate program in Plant Sciences in Agriculture, and 4 graduate programs in Plant Sciences, Crop and Vegetable Sciences, Horticulture and Floriculture, and Genetics and Breeding.