Postdoctoral researcher Josh Hegarty leads NIFA-funded project to breed triticale cultivars for forage

Josh Hegarty, a postdoctoral researcher in the Dubcovsky Lab in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is leading a project to develop commercial varieties of triticale to be grown for forage and feed. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, is granting a $300,000 investment as part of their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Allen Van Deynze receives $650,000 investment from NIFA to breed green chile peppers for mechanical harvesting

Allen Van Deynze, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has received an investment of $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, for a project that will develop commercially competitive green chile peppers, like jalapeños, that are amenable to mechanical harvesting.

11 genes for carotenoid traits in kernels provide a roadmap for more nutritious maize

Christine Diepenbrock, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, and several researchers from Cornell, Michigan State, Purdue, and North Carolina State Universities have collaborated to identify and thoroughly dissect 11 genes underpinning natural variation in levels of carotenoids, including those with provitamin A activity, in maize kernels. 

UC Davis releases 2 new strawberry varieties

Red, ripe strawberries are the hallmark of spring in California. Two new varieties from the Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, will provide consumers with big, flavorful strawberries throughout fall and winter, too.

“These cultivars were developed to provide high-quality fruit from late summer through the holidays,” said Steve Knapp, director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences.

UC Davis Releases 6 New Varieties of Organic Beans

The Department of Plant Sciences has released six new varieties of organic dry beans which are higher yielding, and are resistant to bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), a disease that prevents bean plants from maturing promptly and uniformly. Spearheading the project were Ph.D. candidate Travis Parker, Distinguished Professor Paul Gepts, and Charlie Brummer, professor and director of the Plant Breeding Center at UC Davis.

New Dry Bean Varieties for Organic Growers: Coming Soon

New dry bean varieties, which are disease-resistant and high-yielding, are being bred at UC Davis for commercial organic production. Ph.D. student Travis Parker, who works with Professor Paul Gepts in the Department of Plant Sciences, wrote this article for the Organic Seed Alliance.

Breeding Plants for the Farm of the Future

Breeding crops has been practiced for millennia — new technology has greatly enhanced the ability of plant breeders to feed the world’s growing population, while spearheading a new era of agriculture in harmony with nature and people. Sustainability, Disease resistance, and Labor efficiency are pressing issues in plant breeding.

Breeding Crops for Enhanced Food Safety

Plant breeders and food safety experts held a conference at UC Davis to discuss issues relevant to food safety, including microbial contamination control in produce throughout the food chain (seeds, field production, pre- and postharvest, packaging, distribution, marketing). Conference chair was Professor Maeli Melotto, Plant Sciences, UC Davis.

Plant Breeding Academy Addresses Global Food Needs

To address the global shortage of plant breeders and enable future food security, the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy offers a professional development certificate program in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa.