The Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics was established in 1963. Since then, the Department has been offering courses and research methodologies related to crop improvement, cytology, cytogenetics, biometry, quantitative genetics, molecular genetics and tissue culture, leading to B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. (Hons) degrees. At present the department offers advanced courses and research guidance to PhD scholars. During the past 48 years, the department has produced more than 550 well trained graduates and 22 PhD scholars, who have been serving various organizations at provincial, national and international levels. Since its inception, students of the Department have been awarded with the maximum number of gold medals and other academic distinctions. At present the department has 163 enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate and PhD).
The Department has 9 highly qualified PhD and experienced faculty, well equipped laboratories and 30 acres experimental farm for research activities. During past five years, six faculty members have received Post Doctorate trainings in various developed countries of the world. The Department of Plant Pathology, Weed Science and Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE) were emerged from this department. In addition to academics, objective oriented breeding programs are underway in wheat, maize, rice, pulses (mungbean and chick peas), cotton and oilseed crops at the department, which are funded by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Higher Education Commission and Ministry of Science and Technology. In addition, the department has established linkages program amounting Rs. 16.19 millions sponsored by HEC for split PhD, joint research, joint faculty visit and organizing International symposia. Our faculty have completed 12 research projects amounting Rs. 15.79 million of these projects, eight projects were sponsored by HEC, three by PARC, and one each by PSF and AUP.
Despite the fact that 60% of the cultivable area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is rainfed, but there was no organized crop breeding program in the province for the target rainfed environment. Therefore, efforts are underway at the Department to tailor the current crop cultivars for the rainfed regions of the province using the indigenous and exotic germplasm in the breeding programs. Similarly, research is in progress to evolve crop cultivars for cultivation in marginal land of the province. The first wheat cultivar "Ghaznavi-98" was released in 1998 by the wheat breeding program of the department headed by Prof. Dr. Fida Mohammad for cultivation in irrigated and rainfed regions of the province. A new wheat variety “JANBAZ” of this department was approved for commercial cultivation in Provisional Seed Council Meeting, held on November 11, 2010 under the chairmanship of Minister for Agriculture, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government after fulfilling is codal formalities. New varieties of wheat and brassica are in advanced yield trials. These varieties will be released for cultivation. Furthermore, the department has started winter maize production which is introduced in the province for the first time. In recent past, rice and cotton breeding programs have also been launched in the Department. About 50 metric tons of certified seed of wheat and maize is produced annually at the research farm of the Department for distribution to the farmers and Agriculture Extension Wing.