Plant Breeder

As a plant breeder you will work on improving the quality and performance of existing agricultural and horticultural crops and create new varieties of plants.

Plant Breeder

What does a Plant Breeder do?
Plant Breeders may perform the following tasks:
  • produce research aims and objectives, and predict the cost of the work
  • research methods and techniques for improving plant breeding
  • identify and select plants exhibiting desirable traits, based on natural genetic variation
  • cross plants to produce new breeding material for field and glasshouse trials
  • analyse and scientifically assess plant breeding in laboratory and field trials and select the best varieties
  • conduct scientific projects, which may be laboratory based, especially in the winter months
  • multiply up and produce virus-free plants
  • maintain detailed records throughout the research and development cycle
  • manage, support and train technical and field staff
  • keep up to date in the fast-moving area of science and translate ideas from scientific literature into new approaches to breeding problems
  • monitor the activities of competitors (in commercial settings) and develop a product market profile
  • respond to enquiries from farmers, agronomists and other professionals
  • write and present work to other scientists and publish scientific findings
  • liaise with and visit other scientists, commercial breeders and funding bodies.
What personal requirements will you need?
  • enthusiasm, commitment and a strong interest in plants and plant science
  • good problem-solving skills
  • excellent oral and written communication skills
  • the ability to carry out work independently and with patience
  • a flexible approach
  • the ability and stamina to undertake research and long-term projects
  • the skills to manage a busy laboratory
  • strong team-working skills
  • an analytical and investigative mind
  • computer literacy and technical skills, as most laboratories are highly computerised.
Postgraduate Courses To Become

Plant Breeder

Coursework courses to pursue this career