Latest News

Seeing Plants in Three Dimensions

October 18, 2018

Scientists are taking a new look at the inner workings of plants by imaging and modeling them in three dimensions.

“We’ve realized tremendous advances in technology for 3-D imaging of leaves,” said Tom Buckley, assistant professor in Plant Sciences at UC Davis.

Change on the Range: Is a New Generation of Young, Female Ranchers Ready to Adapt to Climate Change?

October 16, 2018

A new breed of ranchers is bringing diverse demographics and unique needs to rangeland management in California. These first-generation ranchers are often young, female and less likely to, in fact, own a ranch. But like more traditional rangeland managers, this new generation holds a deep love for the lifestyle and landscapes that provide a wealth of public benefit to California and the world.

Ariel Greenwood and Erin Kiley, first-generation graziers in the Bay Area, California. (photo Elaine Patarini)

Downy Mildew Research to Benefit Lettuce Growers and Consumers: Funds Will Support Genomics Research for $3 Billion Crop

October 15, 2018

Quick Summary

  • Downy mildew is the most economically important pathogen infecting lettuce
  • Research to benefit conventional and organic farmers and reduce crop loss
  • Research will provide consumers food grown using fewer chemicals

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, will use the genomics of lettuce to combat a pathogen that causes losses in the $3 billion industry each year.

The pitfalls of FDA’s GMO food labeling

September 27, 2018

[This op-ed, by Professor Kent Bradford, Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis, is reprinted from The Hill, September 24, 2018]

Some companies in California were surprised recently when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food labeling, announced that it was considering no longer allowing food products to be labeled as “milk” unless they came from lactating animals. 

Every Plant Has a Story: Ellen Dean and the Center for Plant Diversity

September 20, 2018

Inside the Sciences Lab Building, tucked next to the Biological Academic Success Center, is a door with a placard reading, “UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity” (aka Herbarium). Step inside and you’ll find undergraduates working at tables, curating and prepping dried plants for display and storage. Around 350,000 dried specimens are stored in the center, organized in phylogenetic order. There are algae, lichens, ferns, angiosperms and much more.

And overseeing this massive resource is curator Ellen Dean.

Cannabis sativa: The Plant and its Impact on People – New Graduate Course at UC Davis

September 17, 2018

A new graduate course – Cannabis sativa: The Plant and its Impact on People – will be offered in Plant Sciences at UC Davis, starting fall quarter 2018.

This seminar style course will provide a scientific overview of the biology, genetics, biochemistry and pharmacological potential of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis is among the world’s earliest domesticated plant species and this class will explore its origin, evolution and ethnobiology.

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy Starts the Seventh Class

September 14, 2018

Contributing to fill a critical need for trained plant breeders, the University of California, Davis, Plant Breeding AcademySM (PBA) started its seventh class of students this week with a session in Davis, California. Over the next two years this class will spend more than 300 hours in classes, workshops and the field, training to complete this premium professional certification program.

UC Davis Collects 2 More Top 10 Rankings: 4th Top 10 Finish in a Month

September 10, 2018

As the new academic year approaches, University of California, Davis, students will have even more reasons for school pride — two more prestigious top 10 rankings.

Today (Sept. 10, 2018), U.S. News & World Report announced its annual “Best Colleges” ranking, with UC Davis tied for 10th (with the College of William and Mary in Virginia) among public universities in the country. The overall rankings are based on mission, academic excellence and overall scores.

Six Faculty Join the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis

August 28, 2018
Six Faculty Join the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis – Gail Taylor, Brian Bailey, Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Pat Brown, Tom Buckley, Mohsen Mesgaran

As the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis finishes the academic year (2017–18) and embarks on a new year, it’s time to meet six new faculty who joined the department during the last two years. These faculty, covering broad discipline areas, have bolstered the breadth and strength of the renowned department.

Presenting Our Plant Sciences Retirees, Class of 2017–2018

August 27, 2018

Of the 558 academic and staff members who retired during the 2017–2018 academic year from the UC Davis and Sacramento campuses, eight are from the Department of Plant Sciences. In addition, at least four of the campus-wide retirees are alumni from Plant Sciences (and its four predecessor departments: Agronomy and Range Science, Environmental Horticulture, Pomology, and Vegetable Crops).

The eight retirees from Plant Sciences clocked a total of 199.75 years of service to UC Davis.

Fresh-cut Products Workshop: The Science and Art of Quality and Safety

August 23, 2018

This workshop, held on the UC Davis campus, September 18-20, 2018 (Tues.–Thurs), provides an intensive and substantive overview of fresh-cut product physiology, production, hygienic facility and equipment design, wash water management, film and packaging design principles and practical selection, sensory evaluation, and distribution.

University Researchers and Organic Farmers to Build Soil as Nature Intended

August 17, 2018

A USDA grant will allow a group of California organic farmers to team up with researchers from the University of California, Chico State and Fresno State to determine whether tilling less soil on the farm will improve production of vegetable crops.

The aim is to duplicate the soil environment found in natural areas — typically concealed by plants, leaves and other organic debris — to improve agricultural soil health, increase production, reduce water use and avoid leaching nutrients out of the root zone.

The Horticulture Industry’s Age Problem

August 16, 2018

Horticulture is facing a crisis. As older plant growers, nursery managers and groundskeepers retire, there are too few people to replace them.

“There’s an age gap in commercial horticulture, a drastic and obvious lack of people under the age of 40,” said Cole Mangum, vice president of production at Bell Nursery in Burtonsville, Md. “Our largest concern is in finding that next generation of greenhouse growers.”