Department of Plant Science

Offering Penn State degrees in agroecology, golf course turfgrass management, horticulture, landscape contracting, and turfgrass science.

Plant Science News

A smallholder farmer harvests Acacia pennata (Cha-om) shoots from her "living fence" in Cambodia.   Image: Penn State
Agricultural diversification: Empowering women in Cambodia with 'wild gardens'
June 7, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In a perfect world, everyone would have access to nutritious, affordable food. However, as Rick Bates knows, there is no such thing as utopia when it comes to food security, as millions of people around the world have limited food resources. One of those places is Cambodia in Southeast Asia, one of the world's poorest countries, where the rural poverty rate is 24 percent, and 40 percent of children younger than 5 are chronically malnourished, making them vulnerable to significant health problems.
Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Crassweller receives society's Outstanding Extension Educator Award
May 22, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has received the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Extension Educator Award.
Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named the 2018 winner of the Dennis R. Hoagland Award.
Lynch named recipient of American Society of Plant Biologists award
May 16, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named the 2018 winner of the Dennis R. Hoagland Award for his work in improving scientific understanding of crop productivity and plant nutrition to improve production and food security.
Image Credit: Andrew Fister/Penn State
Gene editing shows promise for improving the 'chocolate tree'
May 16, 2018
Use of the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 could help to breed cacao trees that exhibit desirable traits such as enhanced resistance to diseases, according to plant scientists. The cacao tree, which grows in tropical regions, produces the cocoa beans that are the raw material of chocolate. Reliable productivity from cacao plants is essential to the multi billion-dollar chocolate industry, the economies of producing countries and the livelihoods of millions of smallholder cacao farmers.