Taylor Lab looking for genetic secrets to fresher lettuce

Gail Taylor and her team at the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences are looking for the genetic keys to making America’s favorite leafy green stay fresher, longer, in the fridge.

Taylor and members of the Taylor Lab have found regions on the lettuce genome related to the tiny details of how lettuce leaves are built – structure that can make a leaf more or less hospitable to bacteria. They’ve also found genetic regions related to the plant’s ability to resist bacteria from getting in at all.

UC Davis Releases 6 New Varieties of Organic Beans

The Department of Plant Sciences has released six new varieties of organic dry beans which are higher yielding, and are resistant to bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), a disease that prevents bean plants from maturing promptly and uniformly. Spearheading the project were Ph.D. candidate Travis Parker, Distinguished Professor Paul Gepts, and Charlie Brummer, professor and director of the Plant Breeding Center at UC Davis.

Almond Orchard Recycling a Climate-Smart Strategy

Recycling trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California’s irrigated almond orchards. Professor Amelie Gaudin, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, worked with postdocs, grad students, and Cooperative Extension colleagues.

CDFA Awards $1.5 Million for Nutrient Management Projects through FREP Grant Program

Three from UC Davis — Patrick Brown and Mark Lundy (Plant Sciences) and Thomas Harter (LAWR) — received grants from the CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program. Seven recipients received $1.5 million to improve nitrogen efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and advance best management practices for fertilizer application in farmlands.

Why is One-Third of Our Food Wasted Worldwide?

Nearly one-third of all the global food production is never eaten. We waste 30 million tons of food in the U.S. and 1.3 billion tons worldwide every year. This has huge economic, environmental and social costs. UC Davis faculty Ned Spang (Food Science and Technology) and Beth Mitcham (Plant Sciences) address the many issues that lead to food waste.

Would You Eat Ugly Produce? Beth Mitcham Explains Quality

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.