Professor Tom Bruns, an expert on mushrooms and fungi, teaches several popular classes throughout the academic year. He and his students are wearing crowns of "crown rust," found on oats and barley (photo by Queena Xu)
Assistant Professor Britt Glaunsinger in the lab at Li Ka Shing Center, located next to Koshland Hall.
The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology consists of the Division of Plant Biology and the Division of Microbial Biology. Programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels have been designed to offer students maximum flexibility in defining their own areas of interest. In addition to departmental resources that are available in Koshland Hall, the facilities of the College of Natural Resources Biological Imaging Facility and the United States Department of Agriculture Plant Gene Expression Center are available for the programs of the department.
The Division of Plant Biology
The Division of Plant Biology program emphasizes basic research and its application to plants and promotes the design of plant biotechnologies. With an increasing awareness of environmental problems, global changes, and emerging food needs, plants are a focal point for new research initiatives and educational training programs. Understanding the biology of plants, their development, their responses to the environment, and the impact of human activities on the plant biosphere are many of the challenges that will continue to fuel the expansion of plant biology research well into the twenty-first century.
The Division of Microbial Biology
The Division of Microbial Biology was established within the department to provide a focus for microbial biology at UC Berkeley. There is a growing awareness that microbes and microbial activities are essential to maintaining a high quality of life for all eukaryotes. Moreover, understanding the microbial world is necessary if we are to comprehend the global ecosystem, evolutionary history, and diversity of life on earth. The twenty-first century will bring a new understanding of the workings of the global ecosystem and a wealth of new technologies derived from the microbial world. The new microbial biology research programs are designed to meet this challenge.