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UC Almond Short Course 2019

October 18, 2019
This integrated almond orchard management short course features UC faculty, Cooperative Extension specialists and farm advisors, and researchers who will address all phases of almond production. November 5-7, 2019, in Visalia, California. Bruce Lampinen, Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is one of the program coordinators.

Cannabis and Hemp: Academia Town Hall Panel

October 16, 2019
John Yoder, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, participated in an academic panel at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition. The panel addressed the plant science, public policy, law, and student education aspects of cannabis. Yoder shared UC Davis’ strengths in the genetics, biochemistry, and how cannabis and hemp plants grow. VIDEO included.

Would You Eat Ugly Produce? Beth Mitcham Explains Quality

October 14, 2019
Postharvest specialist Beth Mitcham, a faculty member in the Plant Sciences department at UC Davis, compares quality and cost of “imperfect” fruits and vegetables to store-bought produce. She notes that imperfect produce can be just as good, less expensive, and reduce food waste. VIDEO: Good Morning America.

Agricultural Innovations Help Cambodian Farmers Thrive

October 08, 2019
Small-scale farmers in Cambodia work with UC Davis’ Horticulture Innovation Lab and Royal University of Agriculture researchers to test methods for growing and selling produce. Farmers recognize that fruits and vegetables meet nutrition needs, and help lift themselves out of poverty. (Includes video)

Plant Diversity a Casualty of High-Severity Wildfires

October 03, 2019
Sierra Nevada forests are losing plant diversity due to high-severity fires, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. These fires are turning patches of forest into shrub fields — indefinitely, in some cases.

Release of Weevil for Biological Control of Yellow Starthistle

September 25, 2019
The USDA will allow the release of a weevil (Ceratapion basicorne) in the United States to help control yellow starthistle, an invasive weed found in 40 of the lower 48 states. The weevils will initially be released in California. Brad Hanson, weed specialist in Plant Sciences, addresses management of yellow starthistle.

Lettuce Mitochondrial Genome is Like a Chopped Salad

September 23, 2019
Mitochondria in cells generate energy for the cell and play roles in metabolism and programmed cell death. Not all mitochondria are the same — plant mitochondria are quite different from animal mitochondria. New research from the UC Davis Genome Center and partnering universities shows just how different.

Automated Weeders are Attracting More Interest: Steve Fennimore Explains

September 20, 2019
Three factors drive automation in vegetable crops: Employee shortages, availability of technology, and fewer new herbicides. Weed specialist Steve Fennimore, Plant Sciences, UC Davis and UC ANR, explains the importance of mechanization and robotic weeders, due, in part, to labor shortages and fewer herbicides.

Root Pottery: An agroecology grad student creates rhizosphere-inspired art

September 17, 2019
Agroecology graduate student Jennifer Schmidt, Department of Plant Sciences, makes ceramics inspired by her Ph.D. dissertation work on the interactions between maize and its surrounding microbes. The visual aspects of her research lend themselves to hand-painted ceramics. Many scientists pursue some form of art or music, along with their science.

New Dry Bean Varieties for Organic Growers: Coming Soon

September 11, 2019
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.

Arabidopsis Uses Defense Metabolites to Mediate Drought Tolerance

September 06, 2019
Brassica plants, such as broccoli, produce metabolites that benefit humans (flavor, anti-cancer defenses), benefit the plant (attacking insects) and, in new research, defend against drought. Dan Kliebenstein’s lab examines drought tolerance in Arabidopsis.

Podcast — History, Cultivation, Production, and Breeding of Strawberries

September 05, 2019
A Gastropod podcast covers the cultivation of strawberries in Europe 300 years ago, to their transport to the U.S., to their major production in California. Professor Steve Knapp, director of the Strawberry Breeding Program, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, is featured in the podcast.

Chloroplasts, β-Barrel Proteins, and Traversing through Graduate School

September 04, 2019
Philip Day, Steven Theg, and the late Kentaro Inoue, all UC Davis, determined how β-barrel proteins are sorted in plant chloroplast envelopes. Chloroplasts, which are responsible for photosynthesis in plants, evolved about a billion years ago from an ancient endosymbiotic relationship between a cyanobacteria species and a eukaryotic cell.