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

December 2017

GMOs Might Feed the World If Only Investors Weren’t So Scared

GMOs Might Feed the World If Only Investors Weren’t So Scared
SBC Director Kent Bradford and UC Berkeley crop biotechnologist Peggy Lemaux discuss the detrimental effects of the campaign led by consumer activists who question the health effects of GMO foods and the drumbeat of nations that have imposed tough regulations and labeling rules in response have had on the application of these technologies in the market. But with the effects of rapidly advancing climate change shifting how and where the world gets its food, such people as Lemaux believe those who oppose genetic modification may want to reconsider. Read more

Farmer Breaks Ground with California-grown Coffee Success

Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries worldwide but never commercially viable in the U.S. -- until now. Outside Santa Barbara, CA., coffee grower Jay Ruskey has the coffee world buzzing. Working on coffee grown by Jay's company, SBC Director of Research Allen Van Deynze and UCD colleagues Juan Medrano and Dario Cantu released the coffee genome last January and are continuing to improve on it along with Amanda Hulse-Kemp (USDA/ARS). View video and article

UC Davis researchers awarded FFAR grant for testing new drying beads to reduce food waste and energy use

Kent Bradford, FFAR Grant 2017, Drying beads
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, awarded a $790,000 Seeding Solutions grant to UC Davis researchers. The grant supports research that will test a new technology, called Drying Beads, to improve the drying methods used in food production. Drying Beads were developed by SBC Director Kent Bradford, Johan Van Asbrouck (Rhino Research) and other researchers. Read more

No crop left behind: Improving the plants that Africans eat and breeders neglect

SBC African Plant Breeding Academy
The SBC is very proud of the meaningful impact that the combined efforts of the African Plant Breeding Academy and The African Orphan Crops Consortium is having on the improvement of orphan crop quality and nutritional value. "The academy has, since its foundation, brought in 81 researchers from all parts of Africa for what are, in effect, masterclasses from the world’s top plant-breeding specialists. These include lectures on the consortium’s latest results, so that the visitors can begin to apply those results to their work." Read more @
If not viewable in your browser, article available as a PDF here:
Marc Zienkiewicz highlights the recent ISSS Conference in the January 2018 online issue of GERMINATION: These People Know How Powerful Seeds Really Are Seeds may be tiny, but that doesn’t make them any less powerful. These miniature powerhouses are what keep life as know it going, and they’re poised to literally fuel a world expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Read more @

CSA Fall Seed Tours

Randi Jimenez, CSA Student Tours
The California Seed Association's Industry Communications & Youth Activities Committee sponsored another successful Fall Seed Tour for Students in the Salinas Valley. SBC's own Randi Jimenez is featured in the video piece. View Video
@CaliforniaSeedAssociation California Seed Association
@BetterSeedBetterLife American Seed Trade Association

October 2017

POSTDOCTORAL Fellow in Plant Pathology and Plant Breeding at UC DAVIS

UC Davis Plant Breeding Center
A postdoctoral position is available in the University of California, Davis Plant Breeding Center. The position will be located in Salinas, California to facilitate development and implementation of molecular assays for in-field detection of the spinach downy mildew pathogen in leaves, and also co-development of downy mildew resistant breeding lines. Read more

Since 1915: What if Consumers Don’t Love Biotech?

August 1999 cover of Seed World issue
The August 1999 (the same year as the SBC began) issue of Seed World takes us way back by covering issues surrounding GM products at that time. In July of that year, U.S. agriculture secretary Dan Glickman addressed the issue of consumer acceptance of biotechnology in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Some of these issues remain at the forefront today. Read more

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.  

Upcoming Courses & Events

Breeding with Genomics
Date: February 13, 2018 - February 15, 2018

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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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