Plant Geneticist

Plant geneticists conduct research to understand, improve or create new varieties of plants or crops. Looking at a plant’s DNA, they can examine ways to improve shape, size, production level, and pesticide and disease tolerance.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Write research plans and objectives
  • Create budgets for research projects and potentially seek funding
  • Crossbreed plants to breed new subjects for trials
  • Record data on plants in trials and publish reports on conducted research
  • Identify genes and DNA that are responsible for certain plant features and functions
  • Stay up to date on research and developments within the industry
  • Tend to trials grown in greenhouses and fields
  • Maintain thorough records of research conducted
  • Look for ways to genetically engineer crops productively
  • Obtain ideal genetics that meet the needs of customers or companies
  • Serve as a liaison and spokesperson for government and industry
  • Supervise the work of field and laboratory workers
  • Identify, characterize, map and detect chromosomal location of potentially useful genes and DNA
  • Prepare, package and label all outgoing seeds for dealer samples, pathology tests and internal and external trials

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education, particularly plant science
  • chemistry
  • biology
  • statistics
  • mathematics

Education/Training Required:

A bachelor’s degree in plant science, horticulture, biology, botany or biochemistry is required. Depending on the employer and nature of the job, a master’s degree or doctorate (especially if doing research or teaching) may be required.

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