Molecular Plant Sciences Program

Welcome to MPS

Michigan State University has one of the highest concentrations of plant scientists in the world and is a leading institution in all areas of plant science research and education. The Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) graduate program brings together into one coherent program the breadth and depth of MSU faculty who apply molecular, biochemical, genomic, and computational approaches to understand the structure and function of photosynthetic organisms.

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Why study molecular plant sciences

Plants support almost all life on earth. They are the foundation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provide essential services and materials to all people.

Molecular plant scientists study the genetic, biophysical, and biochemical processes that plants use to capture solar energy and use it to biosynthesize food, fuel, wood and paper, textiles, and pharmaceuticals.

Fundamental knowledge about the molecular biology of plant physiology and development is critical for:

  1. Improving agricultural productivity and sustainability
  2. Developing new renewable energy sources
  3. Making novel compounds to improve human health and diet
  4. Understanding and ameliorating plant responses to environmental challenges

Why Michigan State University



World-Class Scientific Environment

  • Unsurpassed expertise in basic and applied plant biology areas
  • Over 50 faculty in eight departments and two colleges
  • State of the art facilities

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Program Breadth

  • Dual major program with participating departments
  • Networking and training opportunities
  • Three 8-week lab rotations to broaden cross-discipline exposure

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Integrated Coursework

  • First-year core courses provide unified and rigorous education in modern plant molecular sciences
  • Wide range of electives in all areas of basic and applied plant biology
  • Diversity of graduate seminars on cutting edge topics; weekly seminars by outside speakers; weekly research presentations by current students

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MSU lands $4.8m NSF grant to improve corn
MSU lands $4.8m NSF grant to improve corn
February 28, 2018

The project, led by Erich Grotewold, will use the funding from the National Science Foundation grant to increase corn productivity by better understanding how gene expression is controlled.
Image courtesy of MSU

Faculty Voice - Christoph Benning: Facilitating Collaborations
Faculty Voice - Christoph Benning: Facilitating Collaborations
February 27, 2018

The MPS Faculty member and director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory reflects on his experience of fruitful multi-lab projects at MSU.

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A seminar series that incorporates the broad research interests across the molecular plant sciences program runs on Mondays at 4p.

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