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

May 2018

Seed Central receives award from UC Davis Chancellor's Office

Seed Central receives award from UC Davis Chancellor's Office, Francois Korn and Kent Bradford
Congratulations to Seed Central co-founders Francois Korn and Kent Bradford. Seed Central is the recipient of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovative Community Partner of the Year Award (2018). This award is given to recognize and acknowledge significant contributions to driving regional economic impact through innovation, entrepreneurship or support for growing the startup ecosystem in collaboration with university. Read more

Allen Van Deynze talks about breeding better tomatoes Allen Van Deynze
Listen up everyone! SBC Research Director Allen Van Deynze discusses the intricacies, art and science of plant breeding in this Breeding Better Tomatoes podcast

Rale Gjuric named one of 20 most influential seed people

We are excited and proud to announce the placement of SBC Education Director Rale Gjuric on EUROPEAN SEED's list of highly influential people in 2017. In a time where seed companies worldwide are having trouble filling their breeding vacancies, Rale has been instrumental in spearheading education efforts that have trained numerous students. Under his leadership, the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy has offered 15 classes worldwide since 2006 that were attended by 281 breeders from over 60 countries, making this organization the most recognized program of its kind.
Read about Rale in European Seed article; Full article

April 2018

Plant Breeding Is a Key Part of Precision Agriculture’s Future

Plant Breeding Is a Key Part of Precision Agriculture’s Future [Opinion]
At, American Vegetable Grower editor Carol Miller describes her visit to the California vegetable seed trials this past August. One theme that stood out to her during her tour was how much breeders are keeping future automation in mind. She went on to describe an instrument that measures the amount of force it takes to pull a jalapeño off its plant, developed as a part of a research project led by UC Davis graduate student Randi Jimenez and SBC Research Director Allen Van Deynze. Read more @GrowingProduce

ASTA's 2017 Media Tour
The SBC and California seed industry is highlighted in ASTA's 2017 Media Tour video, which emphasizes the importance of plant breeding technology to our food supply and variety 
ASTA's 2017 Media Tour video @BetterSeedBetterLife

American Seed Trade Association California Media Tour, 2017

Developing Baby Leaf Spinach with Reduced Cadmium Accumulation

A recent UC ANR online article highlighted the work of SBC graduate student Rachel F. Greenhut. Working with fellow UC researchers Juliana Osorio Marin, Richard Smith, Timothy Hartz, Allen Van Deynze and Charles Brummer, Rachel's studies aimed at the development of spinach cultivars with low Cadmium (Cd) accumulation. Cadmium is a rare but toxic element, and strategies used by California farmers to reduce the Cd content are to not grow spinach on high Cd soils and on soils with moderate levels of Cd, fertilizing with zinc to reduce Cd uptake by plants. A valuable tool to help growers reduce Cd levels in spinach would be the use of cultivars that take up less Cd. Read UC ANR blog post

March 2018

CAST Report examines the current U.S. regulatory system for GE crops

CAST report
Recent CAST report "Regulatory Barriers to the Development of Innovative Agricultural Biotechnology by Small Businesses and Universities", co-authored by SBC Director Kent Bradford, examines the current U.S. regulatory system for genetically engineered (GE) crops, compares it with those of major trading partners, and considers the effects it has on agricultural biotechnology. Led by Task Force Chair Alan McHughen, Dr. Bradford and other task force experts show that despite foundational contributions requiring considerable public resource commitments for GE crop innovation and development, academic institutions and small private entities have been almost entirely excluded from the agricultural biotechnology market. 
Read report • Read UC Davis Dept. of Plant Sciences blog post • The report was presented by Alan McHughen at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology in Ames, Iowa on March 22. View video

Kent Bradford featured in El Campo article

Kent Bradford featured in El Campo article
El Campo, an important Chilean publication relating to the national agricultural sector, featured SBC Director Kent Bradford in a recent article describing how increasing deaths due to contaminated food have driven different countries to strengthen the stages of production and distribution in order to prevent diseases. In addition, ready-to-eat food, online shopping and healthy products as current trends are discussed. El Campo is a supplement of El Mercurio newspaper. Read article
(PDF includes English translation for Title and Sections 1, 2 and 3)

February 2018

SBC congratulates graduates of Breeding with Genomics course

SBC congratulates graduates of the Breeding with Genomics course
For the eighth time since 2004, Breeding with Genomics was offered on February 13-15, 2018 at UC Davis. Sixteen individuals from the US, Chile and Italy participated in the course. Instructors included Allen Van Deynze, Richard Michelmore, Paul Gepts, and Patrick J. Brown (all from UC Davis); Shawn Yarnes (Integrated Breeding Platform); and David Francis (The Ohio State University). The course covered diverse topics, including DNA markers, genotype by sequencing, marker-assisted backcrossing, molecular breeding in bean, breeding for disease resistance, and genome selection including hands on sessions in QTL mapping and application of Best Linear Unbiased Prediction.

The course is a part of a series of courses in plant breeding and seed technology including The UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy (PBA), a premium professional certificate program offered in the USA, Europe and Africa. To date, 281 breeders from over 60 countries have attended the UC Davis PBA, making it the most significant program of its kind. Applications are now being accepted for the 7th class of the Plant Breeding Academy in the USA beginning in September of 2018. For more information on the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy visit or contact Joy Patterson at

In loving memory, Cris Heitmann

SBC graduate student Cris Heitmann passed away on April 17, 2018 in a bicycle accident. He will be profoundly missed by colleagues, friends and family.
Learn more about Cris • Cris Heitmann
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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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