Crop Science

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The Graduate Program in Crop Science revolves around our vision of being a world leader in Crop Science education and in the generation and application of knowledge required for economically and environmentally sustainable crop systems and products, as well as in developing land management strategies that protect the quality of North Carolina’s soil, water and air resources.

Our mission within the Graduate program is to develop future leaders in Crop Science with a focus on improving crop plants and products, devising effective and sustainable crop production systems and effective and sustainable management techniques in both agricultural and urban settings; and dissemination of crop science knowledge for the benefit of users and producers of food, feed, turf, biofuels and fiber in North Carolina, the nation and the world.

The specific program areas in which Graduate education focuses are crop management and physiology, plant breeding and genetics, weed science, alternative crops and pesticide fate and impact on the environment.

Entrance requirements for the Graduate program in Crop Science follow the NC State Graduate School guidelines. A minimum of a 3.0 GPA at the Baccalaureate or master’s level is required, although exceptions may be made for master’s applicants with a very strong GPA in science classes and/or their final two years, or with substantial post-baccalaureate work experience. Students accepted will typically have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in crop science, or closely related fields, with strong preparation in the biological and physical sciences. The Graduate Record Examination is also required but there is no minimum score on any of the sections.

Financial assistance in the form of a Graduate Assistantship is available for most of the students accepted into the program. However, funding is limited and positions are highly competitive within a major professor’s program area. It is recommended that applicants review the department’s faculty listing and communicate directly with faculty members who have similar interest to theirs.

Faculty

Adjunct Professors

  • Gina Brown-Guedira
  • Kent O. Burkey
  • Thomas E. Carter
  • Miguel S. Castillo
  • Guy D. Collins
  • Richard J. Cooper
  • Ralph E. Dewey
  • Keith L. Edmisten
  • Loren Ray Fisher
  • Major M. Goodman
  • Candace H. Haigler
  • Ronnie W. Heiniger
  • James B. Holland
  • David L. Jordan
  • Vasu Kuraparthy
  • Ramsey S. Lewis
  • David P. Livingston III
  • David S. Marshall
  • Rouf M. Mian
  • Grady L. Miller
  • J. Paul Murphy
  • Robert P. Patterson
  • Charles H. Peacock
  • S. Christopher Reberg-Horton
  • Robert J. Richardson
  • Thomas W. Rufty Jr.
  • Michelle S. Schroeder-Moreno
  • Randy Wells
  • Fred H. Yelverton
  • Wesley J. Everman
  • Travis W. Gannon
  • Ramon Gonzalo Leon Gonzalez
  • Matthew D. Krakowsky
  • Susana R. Milla-Lewis
  • Lori J. Unruh Snyder
  • Charles W. Cahoon
  • Jeffrey C. Dunne
  • Benjamin David Fallen
  • Joseph Lee Gage
  • Amanda M. Hulse-Kemp
  • Anna Locke
  • Angela R. Post
  • David H. Suchoff
  • Earl Taliercio
  • Matthew C. Vann
  • Rachel A. Vann
  • Daniel C. Bowman
  • Daryl T. Bowman
  • Arthur H. Bruneau
  • Joseph W. Burton
  • Harold D. Coble
  • William K. Collins
  • Will A. Cope
  • Frederick T. Corbin
  • David A. Danehower
  • James T. Green, Jr.
  • Harry D. Gross
  • Robert D. Keys
  • H. Michael Linker
  • Raymond C. Long
  • Jean-Marie Luginbuhl
  • Gail G. McRae
  • J. Paul Mueller
  • Gerald F. Peedin
  • Rongda Qu
  • W. David Smith
  • Janet F. Spears
  • Harold T. Stalker, Jr.
  • Gene A. Sullivan
  • Donald L. Thompson
  • Jerome B. Weber
  • Arthur K. Weissinger
  • P. Randall Weisz
  • Earl A. Wernsman
  • A. Douglas Worsham
  • Johnny C. Wynne
  • Alan C. York
  • Thomas R. Sinclair

Research Scholars

  • Robert E. Austin

Assistant Professors

  • Amanda Avila Cardoso

Courses

CS 502/HS 502/PP 502  Plant Disease: Methods & Diagnosis  (2 credit hours)  

Introduction to the basic principles of disease causality in plants and the methodology for the study and diagnosis of plant diseases caused by fungi. Identification of plant-pathogenic fungi. Research project, disease profiles and field trips arerequired.

Prerequisite: PP 315

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 518/CS 418  Introduction to Regulatory Science in Agriculture  (3 credit hours)  

This course covers laws, regulations and agencies involved in the registration of conventional, biotechnology and biological crops, crop protectants and growth regulators. US and International laws and regulations will be discussed from technical proof of concept through commercial release.

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 524/CS 424  Seed Physiology  (3 credit hours)  

This course will explore the physiological processes associated with seed formation, development, maturation, germination, and deterioration of agronomic and horticultural species. We will also study the physiological aspects of seed dormancy, how dormancy is manifested and overcome in cultivated and noncultivated systems and dormancy's impact on weed seedbank ecology.

Prerequisite: PB 321 or PB 421 or FOR 303

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 528/CS 428  Advanced Regulatory Science in Agriculture  (3 credit hours)  

This course goes into additional depth and provides hands-on exercises concerning agriculture regulatory topics covered in CS 418/518. The course will introduce laws, regulations and agencies involved in the fertilizer, animal and waste management as well as the role of public policy in the regulatory process. CS 418/518 is a prerequisite for this class.

Prerequisite: CS 418

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 530/CS 430  Advanced Agroecology  (4 credit hours)  

This course applies agroecological principles and critical thinking to evaluate various agroecosystems. Students will examine food, fiber, and other commodity production systems for security, productivity, and sustainability and address the simultaneous need to protect natural environments and the biodiversity on which agroecosystems depend. Topics include discussion of national and international government policies, research programs, and education programs that influence the future application of agroecosystem principles.

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 535/SSC 535  Root and Rhizosphere Processes for Plant Nutrition  (3 credit hours)  

The focus of this course is on the understanding of concepts and principles of plant hydro-mineral acquisition, plant adaptation to nutrient deficiencies, water and nutrient cycles in the soil, and the impact that microbial communities have on these processes. Understanding below ground biological networks and their complexity is crucial for understanding soil fertility and improving the acquisition of nutrients in natural and agroecosystems.

Prerequisite: SSC 200 or PB 321, or consent of instructor

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 541/HS 541  Plant Breeding Methods  (3 credit hours)  

Overview of plant breeding methods for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Covers principles and concepts of inheritance, germplasm resources, pollen control, measurement of genetic variances, and heterosis. Special topics include heritability, genotype-environment interaction, disease resistance, and polyploidy. In-depth coverage on methods for breeding cross-pollinated and self-pollinated crops. Prepares students for advanced plant breeding courses.

Prerequisite: ST 511, Corequisite: ST 512

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 565/CS 465  Turf Management Systems and Environmental Quality  (3 credit hours)  

Integration of turfgrass management systems and the use of BMPs and IPM to protect environmental quality. Examination of water quality issues relative to turf. Application of Best Management Practice and Integrated Pest Management strategies. Credit cannot be received for both CS 465 and CS 565. Senior standing.

Prerequisite: CS 400 and Senior standing

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 590  Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  

The study of special problems and selected topics of current interest in crop science and related fields.

CS 591  Special Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special problems in various phases of crop science. Problems may be selected or will be assigned. Emphasis on review of recent and current research. Credits Arranged.

CS 601  Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Review and discussion of scientific articles, progress reports in research and special problems of interest to agronomists. Maximum of two credits allowed toward master's degree; however, additional credits toward doctorate allowed.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 620  Special Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special problems in various phases of crop science. Problems may be selected or will be assigned. Emphasis on review of recent and current research. Credits Arranged.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

CS 688  Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration - Half Time Registration  (1 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain half-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 689  Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration - Full Time Registration  (3 credit hours)  

For students in non-thesis master's programs who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree but need to maintain full-time continuous registration to complete incomplete grades, projects, final master's exam, etc. Students may register for this course a maximum of one semester.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 690  Master's Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students in non thesis master's programs who have completed all other requirements of the degree except preparing for and taking the final master's exam.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 693  Master's Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 696  Summer Thesis Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Summer only

CS 699  Master's Thesis Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their thesis.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 701  Breeding for Insect Resistance and Abiotic Stress  (2 credit hours)  

This course will cover the basic principles of breeding for insect resistance and abiotic stress. Topics include plant defenses, interactions between pest or stress and plant and environment, types of resistance, methods of breeding and screening.

Prerequisite: CS 413, CS 541, or GN 311; Students who believe to have acquired a similar background through different courses should contact the instructor or the director of the program.

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 714  Crop Physiology: Plant Response to Environment  (3 credit hours)  

Examines interactions between plants and the environment. Light environment, plant canopy development, photosynthesis, source-sink relations, growth analysis, growth regulation, water relations, and environmental stresses are addressed.

Prerequisite: (PB 321 or PB 421) and CH 223 or CH 227

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 716/HS 716  Weed Biology  (3 credit hours)  

This course analyzes the interactions between human disturbance and dynamics of weed populations and communities. Emphasis is given to factors that drive weed control actions and the ecological and evolutionary processes by which weeds survive and adapt to these actions. Similarities and differences between weeds and invasive plant species are discussed as well as benefits and limitations of using traditional ecological theory from natural systems to explain weed behavior in highly disturbed environments.

Prerequisite: CS 414

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 717/HS 717  Weed Management Systems  (1 credit hours)  

Weed management systems including integration of cultural, biological, mechanical and chemical methods for vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, turf, small grains, corn, tobacco, cotton, peanuts, aquatic and non-cropland settings. Taught second 5 weeksof semester. Drop date is by last day of 3rd week of minicourse.

Prerequisite: CS 414

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 720/GN 720/HS 720  Molecular Biology In Plant Breeding  (3 credit hours)  

Theory and principles of molecular biology applied to plant breeding. Understanding of the relationship between genes and crop traits. Principles and molecular mechanisms of crop traits, and their applications to solve breeding problems and improve crop traits, which include heterosis, male/female sterility, self-incompatibility, polyploidy, double haploid, protoplast fusion, random mutagenesis, plant regeneration, transgenic breeding, advanced genome editing for breeding, gene silencing, gene activation, gene drive, plant synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, epigenetics for trait improvement, gene stacking, decoy and R genes, and bioconfinement.

P: CS 211 or GN 311 or equivalent, and PB 421 or equivalent.

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 725/HS 725/SSC 725/TOX 725  Pesticide Chemistry  (1 credit hours)  

Chemical properties of pesticides including hydration and solvation, ionization, volatilization, lipophilicity, molecular structure and size, and reactivity and classification according to chemical description, mode of action or ionizability. Taughtduring the first 5 weeks of semester. Drop date is last day of 3rd week of the minicourse.

Prerequisite: (CH 201 or CH 203) and (CH 221 or CH 225)

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 726/ANS 726/FOR 726  Advanced Topics In Quantitative Genetics and Breeding  (3 credit hours)  

Advanced topics in quantitative genetics pertinent to population improvement for quantitative and categorical traits with special applications to plant and animal breeding. DNA markers - phenotype associations. The theory and application of linear mixed models, BLUP and genomic selection using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. Pedigree and construction of genomic relationships matrices from DNA markers and application in breeding.

Prerequisite: ST 511, Corequisite: ST 512

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 727/HS 727/SSC 727/TOX 727  Pesticide Behavior and Fate In the Environment  (2 credit hours)  

Sorption/desorption, soil reactivity, movement, volatilization, bioavailability, degradation and stability of pesticides in the environment. Taught during the last 10 weeks of semester. Drop date is last day of 3rd week of the minicourse.

Prerequisite: CS(HS,SSC,TOX) 725,SSC 200

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 729/HS 729  Herbicide Behavior In Plants  (2 credit hours)  

Chemical, physiological and biochemical actions of herbicides in plants including uptake, translocation, metabolism and mechanism of action.

Prerequisite: BO 751 and BO 752 and CS(HS,SSC) 725

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 745/GN 745/HS 745  Quantitative Genetics In Plant Breeding  (1 credit hours)  

Theory and principles of plant quantitative genetics. Experimental approaches of relationships between type and source of genetic variability, concepts of inbreeding, estimations of genetic variance and selection theory.

Prerequisite: CS(GN, HS) 541, ST 712, course in quantitative genetics recommended

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 746/GN 746/HS 746  Cytogenetics in Plant Breeding  (2 credit hours)  

Theory and principles of plant breeding methodology including population improvement, selection procedures, genotypic evaluation, cultivar development and breeding strategies.

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 755  Applied Research Methods and Analysis for Plant Sciences  (3 credit hours)  

Students will gain understanding of the common principles of scientific method. They will gain knowledge and experience with planning for research, developing research objectives, methodology considerations, experimental design, statistical analyses, and presentation of data. Class will have a heavy focus on experimental methods in applied plant science research.

Prerequisite: ST 511

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 795  Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  

The study of special problems and selected topics of current interest in crop science and related fields.

CS 801  Seminar  (1 credit hours)  

Review and discussion of scientific articles, progress reports in research and special problems of interest to agronomists. Maximum of two credits allowed toward master's degree; however, additional credits toward doctorate allowed.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

CS 820  Special Problems  (1-6 credit hours)  

Special problems in various phases of crop science. Problems may be selected or will be assigned. Emphasis on review of recent and current research. Credits Arranged.

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 860/GN 860/HS 860  Plant Breeding Laboratory  (1 credit hours)  

Visitation of plant breeding projects in the Depts. of CS and HS at NC State, along with commercial seed companies. Discussion and viewing of breeding objectives, methods and equipment and teaching and practice of hybridization methods.

P: CS 741 or GN 741 or HS 741

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 861/GN 861/HS 861  Plant Breeding Laboratory  (1 credit hours)  

Visitation of plant breeding projects in the Depts. of CS and HS at NC State, along with commercial seed companies. Discussion and viewing of breeding objectives, methods and equipment and teaching and practice of hybridization methods.

P: CS 741 or GN 741 or HS 741

Typically offered in Fall only

CS 885  Doctoral Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

CS 890  Doctoral Preliminary Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/oral preliminary exams.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Spring and Summer

CS 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Spring only

CS 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

CS 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Summer only

CS 899  Doctoral Dissertation Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer