Human health and nutrition

Melotto Lab seeks mighty lettuce

Maeli Melotto and her team at the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences are looking for strains of lettuce that are genetically stronger at resisting bacteria that can make people sick. Their work has led to the identification of a gene that could play a role in the plant’s susceptibility to E. coli, a bacterium that causes potentially lethal intestinal illness.

11 genes for carotenoid traits in kernels provide a roadmap for more nutritious maize

Christine Diepenbrock, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, and several researchers from Cornell, Michigan State, Purdue, and North Carolina State Universities have collaborated to identify and thoroughly dissect 11 genes underpinning natural variation in levels of carotenoids, including those with provitamin A activity, in maize kernels. 

Li Tian

  • Professor
  • Co-Director - UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center
  • Faculty
  • PSEC At-Large Representative
Phytonutrient biochemistry and physiology; Biosynthesis, accumulation and function of carotenoids and polyphenols in plants; Targeted improvement of crop phytonutrient composition and content for enhanced nutritional and medicinal values.
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616

What We Do

The Department of Plant Sciences engages in teaching, research and outreach in all aspects of agricultural and environmental plant science. Our programs cover the full spectrum of the land-grant university tradition of scholarship, ranging from fundamental discovery to application of research findings to delivery of research-based knowledge and new technology to end users. Through the integration of basic and applied sciences, our teaching, research and outreach programs are highly effective in training students and addressing theoretical and technological frontiers in plant sciences.