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 & Updates

Spring 2021
Registration for American PBA E-Series is open
Early-Bird discount extended to May 5!

Based upon a seed industry-wide survey assessing continuous educational needs during the pandemic, we are launching a set of on-line short courses.


Successful debut for UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy(SM) E-Series ON-LINE courses
The UC Davis PBA has completed its E-Series debut offerings (European time zone), held ON-LINE over two ½ days (April 13 & 15 and April 20 & 22, 2021). The Statistics & Experimental Design and Hybrid Breeding Strategies courses were taught by plant breeding experts and featuring special surprise guests (Ken Owens and Manuel Flores). These foundation level short courses generated wide interest from all around the globe, drawing a total of 86 professionals from the Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Guatemala, Hungary, India,Italy, Japan, México, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, UK and USA. Instructors included SBC Educational Director Jovan Djordjevic and industry experts Alexandra Tomerius and Ken Owens. Thank you to our instructors, invited guests and all participants for making these courses a huge success!
*These two short courses will be offered again in May (American time zone). Learn more @

UC Davis completes Seed Production ONLINE course 

UC Davis Seed Production course ON-LINE in February 2021
The SBC completed its annual Seed Production course, held ONLINE over six ½ days (February 16 - 18 and 23 - 25, 2021). Taught by experts from both industry and academia, this 2021 course generated wide interest from all around the globe, drawing 77 professionals from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Lebanon and Mexico. Lead instructors included industry expert Mike Pereira, SBC Director of Education Jovan Djordjevic and SBC Director Emeritus Kent Bradford.  Thank you to our instructors, invited presenters and all participants for making this course a huge success! 
UC Davis completes Seed Production ONLINE course

Thank you for the wonderful course. It was a great opportunity to listen and learn from such dedicated and knowledgeable people.” Simon Lancaster, Tozer Seeds Ltd.
I really enjoyed your wonderful lesson! I learned many things from all of instructors and I was able to reconfirm that I love this job.” Min Sai, TAKII & Co., Ltd.
Great course, thank you. The 3am start time (Australian time zone) was worth it!!Chris Smith, Sunland Seeds P/L
“The organization team did a fantastic job with the course! I will definitely recommend this course to others in my organization.” Pat Battonyai de Oliveira, Bayer

LGC, Biosearch Technologies to feature African PBA Class IV graduates

LGC, Biosearch Technologies to feature African PBA Class IV graduates
LGC, Biosearch Technologies to feature African PBA Class IV graduates Drs. Inge Gazendam and Santatra Ravelomanantsoa in webinar "Celebrating advances in agrigenomics with SuperSHEroes", which shines the spotlight on three women scientists who are seeding global change in agriculture by championing modern genomics that promote sustainability, efficiency, and optimal breeding workflows.

Dr. Jovan Djordjevic joins the SBC as director of education

Executive Director, Jovan Djordjevic, SBC

We are excited to welcome Dr. Jovan Djordjevic to our team as SBC’s director of education! Jovan has spent over 25 cumulative years with Monsanto, Limagrain and BASF Vegetable Seeds, where he most recently directed research and breeding teams and developed crop strategy (vegetable seeds) as BASF Vegetable’s Global R&D Team Lead for breeding. An accomplished and experienced plant breeder, he brings a broad-based expertise in plant breeding research and development. Read more

Rale Gjuric, former SBC Education Director, discusses the many uses of Hemp, with Marcel Bruins (European Seed)

Rale Gjuric, former SBC Education Director, elaborates on the many uses of Hemp in European Seed with Marcel Bruins
Industrial hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel. With the increased focus on breeding for industrial hemp and cannabis, European Seed spoke with Rale (Radiša) Gjuric, Director of the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy, to get his take on the ins and outs of this new course and the risen interest in the crop. Read more
Source: European Seed  

SBC director Allen Van Deynze discusses the USDA's role in plant breeding and mentorship

Study Finds Indigenous Mexican Variety of Corn Captures the Nitrogen It Needs from the Air

Corn story
A team of researchers including SBC Director of Research, Dr. Allen Van Deynze and Cristobal Heitmann, discover an indigenous variety of corn that can “fix nitrogen” from the atmosphere, instead of requiring synthetic fertilizers. Cristobal Heitman, “Cris”, was a beloved member of the UC Davis Plant Sciences Department. Cris’s energy and enthusiasm were a major catalyst in this research. Read more.

SBC releases 2019 Annual Report

In 2019, the SBC celebrated its 20th anniversary. Read about our festive celebration event last September as well as our numerous outreach, research and educational activities throughout 2019. It was a busy and productive year! Read Report (PDF)

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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
Scholarship Fund

Upcoming Courses & Events

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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.


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