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

What is the Research Focus at the Seed Biotechnology Center?

person in field
The mission of the SBC is to serve as a scientific research and outreach center for the California, U.S. and international seed industries.  When the SBC was created in 1999, seed industry and university leaders envisioned it as the portal to connect the industry with problem-solving plant scientists at UC Davis.  SBC research activities are focused primarily on partnerships with industry collaborators that develop pre-competitive information and methods that “lift all boats.”  SBC research projects develop knowledge and tools that support the continuing improvement of crops and seed performance and the competitiveness of the seed industry.  Funding is received through various sources, including the USDA and particularly the UC Discovery Program that shares the project cost with private collaborators.  Information from projects are published in journals and reported at industry meetings. The SBC has generated over $7 million in research funding since 2003, including over $1.3 million expended in 2008 alone.  Several of our most important research initiatives include:

  • Identification and application of molecular markers.  The SBC has been a leader in the development and application of new technologies to advance plant breeding, particularly in California crops.  Research on specific crops include: tomato, lettuce, cotton, pepper, sunflower, potato, and carrot.

  • Co-existence.  Studies on gene flow in cotton and alfalfa have generated critical data used both in regulatory evaluations and in refining isolation distances required to achieve specific levels of genetic purity and therefore facilitating co-existence in production systems and marketing.

  • Seed biology and technology.  The SBC is conducting innovative research on seed vigor testing, priming and enhancement, storage, germination and dormancy.

The SBC focuses on research relevant to the California seed industry and encourages companies to contact us with research problems and ideas.  Email:, Phone: (530) 754-7333.

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