UC Davis Plant Sciences
Crop Evolution, Domestication, and Biodiversity  - Paul Gepts Lab at UC Davis

Since the beginning of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, humans have molded the diversity of crop plants around them to suit their diverse needs for food and beverage, feed, clothing and other numerous uses. Starting with the process of domestication, crop biodiversity results from the fascinating interactions among humans, plants, and their environment. My research and teaching program is focused on elucidating the evolutionary processes that have shaped evolution of crop plants under cultivation. I focus particularly on Phaseolus beans because they are such an important part of the human diet, especially in developing countries, and provide many health benefits.

On the applied level, I look at the consequences of our findings for plant breeding. One of my main activities is a participation in the ABC-KT project (i.e., African Bean Consortium, funded by the Kirkhouse Trust), which seeks to develop a marker-assisted selection capability in East African bean breeding programs.

Since January 2012, I am leading the UC Davis bean breeding program, with the responsibility of producing new varieties of lima bean, garbanzos, and common bean for the California grain legume industry, including the California Dry-Bean Advisory Board, the organic sector (Lundberg Family Farms, Clif Bar Family Foundation), Kirsten Co. LLC, Colusa Produce,  etc.. More ...

What does UC Davis mean to California? (pdf) In the field of plant breeding, most crop varieties in the state are UC varieties. Check the list of varieties and the breeding programs (pdf) that produced them and a historic gallery of UCD plant breeders.

 For more details ....

2012 Gepts P, Famula TR, Bettinger RL, Brush SB,
Damania AB, McGuire PE, Qualset CO (eds) (2012)
Biodiversity in agriculture: domestication, evolution, and
sustainability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Contact information: Paul Gepts Profile
University of California, Davis
Department of Plant Sciences / MS1
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8780
Tel office: +1-530-752-7743; Tel lab: +1-530-752-9982; Fax: +1-530-752-4361
plgepts at ucdavis dot edu