Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
University of California
Seed Biotechnology Center

Welcome to the SBC


The mission of the Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) is to mobilize the research, educational and outreach resources of UC Davis in partnership with the seed and biotechnology industries to facilitate discovery and commercialization of new seed technologies for agricultural and consumer benefit.

News and Updates

October 2017

Many Educational Paths Exist for Plant Breeders

Over the past decade, plant breeding and biotechnology have been transformed — as a result, there are a variety of educational paths to be taken. Along with insights from SBC Director Kent Bradford, UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy graduates Curtis Van Laecke and Evan Gillis discuss in September's issue of Germination their individual educational and professional paths that led them to plant breeding. Read article online @

Powerful Tools, Major Possibilities: New technologies are proving to be an asset to up-and-coming plant breeders

Rale Gjuric
In the September issue of Germination, SBC Education Director Rale Gjuric discusses the continued and valuable role of modern plant breeders, who are using the latest technological tools to do a job that, despite being as old as agriculture itself, is more important than ever. “It’s like an engineer working in a factory in the 1940s compared to now." Gjuric says. "They do the same job, but the factory has changed. They just have different tools now.” Read article online @

Ever Wonder Why Cantaloupes Don't Smell Like They Used To?

"For generations, Western Shipper cantaloupe was the industry standard", said Bill Copes, H.M. Clause’s melon man. But that melon is sensitive to ethylene, a gas that acts as a plant hormone to regulate growth and development. But ethylene can also cause cantaloupes to over-ripen or get soft during shipping. Breeders then produced a strain of cantaloupe called Harper or LSL (long shelf life) that did not respond to ethylene, resulting in much longer shelf life in the stores. While these Harper/LSL melons tend to be super sweet, they lack the depth of flavor of older varieties. The next step for melon breeders: Bring back the scent and rich melon flavor while keeping new positive traits, too. Read more

Certifying Quality Seed in Pakistan

Accessing quality seed is a complex issue in Pakistan. In collaboration with institutional counterparts at UC Davis (Drs. Kent Bradford, Tom Rost, and Charles Brummer), three faculty members from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad are working to provide integrated solutions to increase the availability of quality seed for Pakistani farmers. Read more

Blueprint for Produce: How Fruits & Vegetables are Designed for the Market

“The seed industry is essential to agriculture — we have to have seeds to start — but it’s sort of a hidden part,” says Kent Bradford, distinguished professor at UC Davis’ Seed Biotechnology Center. “It’s where the new technology comes in.” With UC Davis a top agricultural research center, the Central Valley’s excellent growing conditions and new farm technology constantly emerging from Silicon Valley, a lot of that seed development is happening quietly in the Bay Area’s backyard. Read article by San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Tara Duggan

SBC Hosts Successful 12th Triennial International Society for Seed Science Conference (ISSS) in Monterey, CA, USA

ISSS Conference
The SBC together with an international program committee successfully organized the 12th Triennial International Society for Seed Science Conference held in September at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey, CA. Taking place in the U.S. for the first time since 1989, the conference brought 180 attendees from 24 different countries and enabled top international seed scientists to share research findings and interact with the U.S. and Californian seed industry. Read more

Gabe Patin to be Honored at UC Davis

Gabe Patin
On October 6, seed industry executive Gabe Patin will be honored with an Award of Distinction by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. Patin, 87, was instrumental in the development of the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) - an accomplishment which he calls one of the greatest of his life. The awards are presented annually to individuals whose contributions and achievements enhance the college's ability to provide cutting-edge research, top-notch education and innovative outreach. Patin is being recognized as a friend of the college. The Award of Distinction ceremony honoring Patin and others starts at 5:30 p.m. in the ARC Pavilion on the UC Davis campus. Find more information here.  

August 2017

Can These Super-Crops Feed Africa?

SBC Director of Research Allen Van Deynze serves as Scientific Director for the African Orphan Crops consortium (AOCC), a primary partner of the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy. The AOCC was featured in BBC News video "Can these super-crops feed Africa?". With Africa's population is set to boom over the next few decades — reaching 2.5 billion people by 2050 — scientists in Kenya are trying to find ways to grow enough food for everyone under very harsh and extreme environmental conditions. The AOCC has identified 101 traditional plants ripe for improvement and is using a DNA sequencing machine (donated by Illumina) to speed up traditional cross-breeding, which will result in making plants more fruitful, drought resistance and disease tolerant. View VIDEO

Boston Startup Hopes Its Seeds Will Help Farmers Cope With Climate Change

Farmers are often at the mercy of Mother Nature — too much heat, and their crops could shrivel up; too little water, and their plants might die off. Natural weather fluctuations are challenging, but add in climate change and experts say the weather extremes could be devastating to our food supply. Indigo Agriculture, a Charlestown-based startup, is trying to tackle this big problem with a microscopic solution by working to create drought-resistant seeds coated with tiny microbes. Read more

July 2017

Kent Bradford on China's attitudes towards GMOs

Kent Bradford interviewed by CGTN America
To learn more about China's attitudes towards GMOs, CGTN America's Rachelle Akuffo interviews SBC Director Kent Bradford. View INTERVIEW

The Next Farm Bill: Technology & Innovation in Specialty Crops

On July 12, ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne testified before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee regarding The Next Farm Bill: Technology & Innovation in Specialty Crops.
Read more (includes Video)

The SBC is very proud and excited to announce the release of our 2016 Annual Report! Please take a moment to read about all that has been going on in 2016 here at the SBC: Educational Courses, new and continuing Plant Breeding Academies, outreach, research, updates about our many partnerships and collaborations, and much more!

UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy graduates the fourth class
UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy graduates the fourth class
UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) has graduated the fourth class with a session and graduation in Davis, California. Over the last two years, during the six sessions held in Enkhuizen, The Netherlands; Angers, France; Gatersleben, Germany; Gent, Belgium; Almeria, Spain, and UC Davis, ten participants in this class spent more than 300 hours in classes, workshops and the field, training towards the PBA Certificate. Read more  ••• The PBA is a premium professional certificate program offered in the USA, Europe, Asia and Africa. Fourteen classes offered worldwide since 2006 were attended by 260 breeders from 58 countries, making the PBA the most recognized program of its kind. The next class of the European PBA starts in October 2017. This class is full, applications are accepted for a waiting list. For more information, contact Joy Patterson at or visit PBA online

Upcoming Courses & Events

Seed Business 101 in Horticulture
Date: December 4, 2017 - December 8, 2017

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Kent Bradford highlighted in Seed World magazine, September 2015

featured in 
Seed World Magazine
Two plant sciences professors-- Kent Bradford and Gurdev Khush are among  SEED WORLD magazines's picks for its list of 100 most transformational men and women in the seed industry in the last 100 years.

2016 Annual Report

Seed Biotechnology Center, UC Davis, Annual Report 2016


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