Research education at our department includes doctoral education (4 years) and licentiate education (2 years). Our research education is funded mainly by governmental and private research foundations or agencies and partially by international funding from the European Commissionas as well as industrial partners. In addition, we train also doctoral and licentiate students from developing countries with support from SIDA (The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
The research topics in our research education include plant breeding, plant biotechnology and product quality. In plant breeding, our research activities cover both pre-breeding, such as evaluation and utilization of genetic resources, and breeding of both Nordic and tropical crop species. Domestication of new plant species is also important in our research activities. We use both traditional and modern breeding methods, such as crossing, molecular markers, high throughout genotyping by GWAS, genomic selection, phenotyping using machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. In plant biotechnology, we focus on understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying quality and quantity of oil, protein or starch and development of pre-breeding and new breeding materials in cereals, oilseed crops, faba bean and potato as well as plant-based production of human heme-binding proteins or insect pheromone precursors for potential pharmacological, food, feed and chemical applications. A wide range of techniques in biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology, genetic engineering, especially various omics and the CRISPR/Cas9 technique, are routinely used. In product quality, our research activities include analysis of health-related product qualities, evaluation of genetic, environmental and storage factors affecting the postharvest product quality, use of side-streamed biomass, studies on important factors affecting product quality of biomaterials and development of novel plant-based biomaterials that can be used for pharmacological, food, chemical and packaging industry. In this work a wide range of chemical analyses of different plant compounds are used together with computer modeling and different X-ray techniques.
For more detailed information about research activities within the three research subject areas at the department please visit the related website at https://www.slu.se/en/departments/plant-breeding/research/.
For more detailed information about research education at SLU please visit the related website at https://www.slu.se/en/education/programmes-courses/doctoral-studies/.