Plant breeding programs in Soil and Crop Sciences seek to alter the genetic composition of plants to improve crop characteristics. Our plant breeding and genetics faculty members rely on conventional and molecular breeding techniques to modify specific targets such as yield potential, crop quality, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, and/or reduced crop production costs. Our programs also develop, assess, adapt, and incorporate new technologies that promise to enhance breeding efficacy, e.g., drone-based imaging. Breeders of grain crops such as corn, wheat, sorghum, and rice have developed varieties that have improved grain yield, resist diseases and insect pests, resist lodging, and possess improved nutrition or processing quality.
Our faculty have developed genotypes of bioenergy crops such as sweet sorghums, sugar cane, forage sorghums, and perennial grasses with exceptional sugar production per unit land area for ethanol production or biomass for cellulosic ethanol production. Cotton breeders and geneticists in Soil and Crop Sciences have developed unique interspecies lines through hybridization of different species of cotton as well as developed strains with exceptional fiber quality and drought tolerance. Our plant breeding faculty work with sugar cane, rice, cotton, corn, cowpea, wheat, oat, sorghum, perennial grasses, turf grasses, forage legumes, and peanut.
Faculty and Staff
National Association Plant Breeders
Related Sites of Interest
- Releases from Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Plant Breeding Bulletins
- Texas AgriLife Research
- Plant Breeding Distance Education at Texas A&M University
Learn More About Research Areas of Focus in Soil and Crop Sciences
In the realm of soil and crop sciences, research focuses on a myriad of critical areas that drive sustainable agricultural practices and global food security. Soil health and management take center stage, exploring ways to optimize soil fertility, structure, and nutrient cycling to enhance crop productivity. Genetic advancements in crop breeding and biotechnology are pursued to develop resilient varieties that withstand environmental stressors and ensure high yields. Precision agriculture, integrating technology and data analytics, aims to fine-tune farming practices, reducing resource waste and maximizing efficiency. The exploration of sustainable agroecosystems delves into the intricate relationships between crops, soil, and the environment, fostering environmentally friendly approaches. Such research not only informs farming practices but also contributes to vital policy discussions, shaping the future of agriculture in a rapidly changing world.