Latest News

Department of Plant Sciences to ensure the legacy of six decades of strawberry breeding is continued at UC Davis

As part of our current strategy, The Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis has initiated a major new 'Recruitment For Excellence' that over the last few years has been successful in the appointment of 12 new faculty members at assistant/associate professor rank. The department is world-leading and provides a vibrant and dynamic environment with engaged and highly collaborative faculty, working from molecule to ecosystem, applying fundamental knowledge to address real-world problems in Plant Sciences. Why not join us?

Study Challenges Evolutionary Theory That DNA Mutations Are Random

A simple roadside weed may hold the key to understanding and predicting DNA mutation, according to new research from University of California, Davis, and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany.

The findings, published today in the journal Nature, radically change our understanding of evolution and could one day help researchers breed better crops or even help humans fight cancer.

UC Davis Awarded $6.5 Million to Develop AI Breeding Tool for Crops

A team of researchers from University of California, Davis, has been awarded a $6.5 million grant to use 3-D modeling, artificial intelligence and crop genetics to develop a tool to improve and accelerate breeding pipelines for legumes and sorghum.

Funding for the project, known as GEMINI*, comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Breeding, Crop Management Needed to Increase Rice Production

Study of a rice field in Asia found that selective breeding and management decisions maintained crop yields despite climate changes, but those interventions weren’t enough to increase production to meet global demand, according to a paper from University of California, Davis.

Coast Redwood and Sequoia Genome Sequences Completed

Scientists have completed the sequences for the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. The research, officially published this week in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, helps to better explain the genetic basis for these species’ ability to adapt to their changing environments. The research indicates that the coast redwood genome evolved from a single ancestral species.

Sustainable intensification for a larger global rice bowl

Rice is the main staple food for more than half of the global population, and as the world population grows, demand for rice is expected to grow, too. The challenge is how to produce more rice on existing cropland, and do so while minimizing the environmental impact. Here the authors, including Bruce Linquist, provide an analysis of roadmaps toward sustainable intensification for a larger global rice bowl. The research was published Dec. 9 in Nature Communications.

Plant Sciences Pumpkin Patch Fun

It’s that time of year again when the Department of Plant Sciences takes to the field to pick pumpkins and do the best pumpkin carvings ever alongside an awesome BBQ and chili-off competition. We couldn’t quite do it all this year, given covid restrictions but despite that, over 200 people came to the UC Davis farm field, including lots of happy children, to enjoy a few hours in the sunshine picking some amazing pumpkins. Said Chair Taylor, “This is a great annual event and it’s so good to meet people, outdoors, in-person.

New Tools from UC to Improve N Management in California Small Grain Crops

UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension are excited to share newly developed tools that optimize nitrogen (N) fertilizer management in wheat and other small grains. The new tools and case studies illustrating how they’ve been applied in commercial settings will be discussed at an upcoming webinar on 11/4/2021 from 2-4 PM (2 INMP/CURES CEU credits available for those who REGISTER).

Shea Tree DNA Decoded, Paving Way to Speed up Growth

UC Davis played a key role in international research that has decoded the shea tree genome, potentially paving a way for breeding that could help speed up production of the African crop that serves as a vital nutritional resource, cosmetic additive and cocoa substitute.  

USAID Awards UC Davis $15 Million for Global Horticulture Research Program

The U.S. Agency for International Development will provide a base $15 million investment over the next five years, with up to $34.5 million total funding possible, to support a global research program led by the University of California, Davis, that advances fruit and vegetable production, handling, and consumption. 

Aridity, rather than nitrogen supply, drives water use efficiency in global forests, new study finds

Plants greatly influence our climate. In Northern Africa around 6,000 years ago, variations in weather patterns led to decreased water availability for vast savannas, which, in turn, led to less water restored to the atmosphere through plant transpiration. Due to this negative cycle, what was once a verdant landscape became the Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert on the planet.