Latest News

UC Davis Plant Sciences Symposium set for May 27

The annual UC Davis Plant Sciences Symposium is ON for 2022! We are thrilled to bring together the Plant Sciences community for a hybrid event, organized and hosted by graduate students, after two long, virtual years. We are committed to the safety of all, and COVID-19 symptom surveys are required for in-person participants.

The ‘Weed Doctor’ is in: Picnic Day includes tomato, strawberry give-aways

Get free tomato and strawberry transplants and fresh popcorn, and have an expert identify your weeds, at the Department of Plant Sciences during UC Davis’ Picnic Day celebration, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Come to the courtyard on the courtyard side of the department’s main building. It’s a block west of the Memorial Union, on North Quad between Howard Way and California Avenue.

Could Vines Be the Answer to Speeding Urban Cooling, Water Reduction in the West?

Perhaps trees aren’t the only green solution when it comes to cooling urban spaces and reducing energy costs. Honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, pink trumpet and other vines could be a fast-growing substitute in climate-smart cities of the future.

Researchers from UC Davis are leading a nearly $880,000 federal grant to study how vines may provide cooling and shade in Western states in less time than it takes a tree to grow tall.

Exhibit blends art and science to shine new light on seeds

Seeds in the ground store genetic memories of plant communities going back in time, and bank possibilities for plants of the future. Now, a project twining the science and the beauty of seeds will be on display at the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity during the university’s annual Picnic Day celebration.

Vertical, indoor farming boosts yield and anti-cancer nutrition of watercress

How does it sound to grow plants without sunlight or soil, in racks going up and down instead of in rows on the ground? That’s how crops grow in indoor vertical farms, where nutrient-rich, recycled water feeds plants under red and blue LED lights. This innovative approach gives farmers the chance to alter crops as they like, whether that means making lettuce red or producing extra-flavorful herbs. The added benefits: Amid continuing drought across the western United States and water scarcity in many other parts of the world, this system uses up to 95% less water than traditional farming.

UC Davis Research Prepares State’s $3.7 Billion Nursery and Floral Industry for a Drier Future

As California enters a third summer of record drought, farmers who raise nursery and floral crops are looking for ways to grow plants with less water, more efficiently, while fighting new diseases and detecting plagues quicker.

Researchers with the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences are finding ways to help, with support from the Plant California Alliance. The grower-supported organization has granted nearly $400,000 to the department since 2006, according to college records.

Trade ideas, seek collaboration: Rothamsted visit sparks scientific creativity

The creativity that sparks when people meet in person filled the halls at UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences when an international team of scientists from Rothamsted Research, U.K., visited recently. Farm tours and presentations gave way to high-energy discussions of wheat genetics, soil management, grazing practices, climate change mitigations and opportunities for future collaboration.

Survey: People Turned to Gardening for Stress Relief, Food Access During Pandemic

People who turned to gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic did so to relieve stress, connect with others and grow their own food in hopes of avoiding the virus, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and international partners.

Biodiversity Museum Day

Pet a pine cone at Biodiversity Museum Day March 6

Visit a pine cone petting zoo and craft a pressed-flower bookmark during UC Davis’ 11th annual Biodiversity Museum Day. Children and the young-at-heart will enjoy hands-on activities that bring science to life from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at the UC Davis Conference Center, across from the Robert Mondavi Center.

Speedier wheat could feed more people, research suggests

If wheat leaves could shift gears faster between moments of shade and light, plants could make more grain, increasing the capacity of a plot of ground to feed people.

Researchers are seeking the genes that control how quickly wheat leaves gear up when hit by flecks of sunlight. They are fueled by evidence of a stronger link between photosynthesis and crop yield than scientists have thought, said Assistant Professor Tom Buckley of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences.

UC Davis Team Identifies Wheat Gene that Increases Yield

A team of scientists from University of California, Davis, have identified a new gene variant in wheat that can increase the amount of the grain produced, new research published in the journal PLOS Genetics finds.

Wheat is a staple of food diets worldwide and the gene discovery could allow farmers to grow more food without increasing land use. Increased yield could also lower consumer prices, making the crop more accessible.

UC Davis to Lead $15 Million Research Into Climate-Change Resistant Wheat

Wheat products account for roughly 20% of what people eat every day around the globe. As climate changes, wheat crops must adapt to new weather patterns to keep up with demand. 

The University of California, Davis, is leading a five-year, $15 million research project to accelerate wheat breeding to meet those new climate realities, as well as to train a new generation of plant breeders.