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

photo of strawberries
Steve Knapp, UC Davis.
Steve Knapp, UC Davis.

A new podcast on Gastropod — “Running on Fumes: Strawberry’s Dirty Secret” — addresses 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, in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is one of the experts interviewed in the podcast. Knapp addresses the original production of cultivated strawberries 300 years ago from hybrid plants, why California is such an ideal climate for strawberry production (mix of Mediterranean and subtropical climates, along with the ocean cooling effect), developing day-neutral strawberries, and the current breeding methods used to develop new strawberry varieties.

As a bonus, there’s a link to one of Knapp’s favorite recipes – Strawberry, Marscarpone, and Marsala Budini (from Bon Appetit).

Featured in the podcast with Knapp are Patrick Edger (Knapp’s partner in sequencing the strawberry), Matt Celona, Julie Guthman, and Dan Nelson. The co-hosts of Gastropod are Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley.

Listen to the SoundCloud podcast:



Read more here about the podcast on Gastropod.


More Strawberry News from UC Davis

  • UC Davis Releases Five New Strawberry Varieties – Publicly available plants will help farmers manage diseases, production costs. July 2019.
  • Breeding a Better Strawberry: Scientists Uncover Genetic Roadmap of Cultivate Strawberry. February 2019.
  • $4.5 Million Grant Funds New Disease-Resistant Strawberries. August 2017.
  • Strawberry Breeding Program: Frequently Asked Questions. May 2016.
  • Strawberry Breeding Program: Historical timeline. May 2016.

(Article by Ann Filmer, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, September 5, 2019)