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

April 2018 eNews



Breeding with Genomics

The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center hosts successful Seed Business 101 Horticulture course
The SBC congratulates graduates of the Breeding with Genomics course, offered on February 13-15, 2018 at UC Davis. It was the 8th class offered since 2004.  Sixteen individuals from the US, Chile and Italy participated in the class. Instructors included Allen Van Deynze, Richard Michelmore, Paul Gepts, and Patrick J. Brown (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 (space is limited) 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


Seed Biology & Quality – June 19-21, 2018, Davis, CA 

Seed Business 101 – Field Crops, August 20-24, 2018, St. Charles, IL 

Program Management for Plant Breeders – September 18-20, 2018, Davis, CA

Seed Business 101 – Horticulture, December 3-7, 2018, Davis, CA 

Seed Production  – February 12-14, 2019, Davis, CA

For more information about these courses, contact Susan DiTomaso at or Julie Tillman at 

Upcoming EVENTS

Special Seed Central event


Please see for details

ISSS 2nd International Workshop on Seed Longevity

30 July to 1 Aug, 2018, Fort Collins, CO USA
Registration now open!

Cucurbitaceae 2018 being held November 12 — 15, 2018 at UC Davis 
Registration and Abstract Submission is open!


The gathering will bring together about 250 cucurbit scientists from around the world for an in-depth conference exploring new frontiers of cucurbit research and development.
Conference session topics are being determined now and will include presentations organized from individual paper submissions on the following proposed topics: • Genomics   •    Breeding and Genetics   •   Production and Quality • Biotic Stresses   •   Floral & Fruit Development   •   Genetic Determinates of Fruit Quality
For more information contact Julie Tillman at

In the NEWS

The Kent J. Bradford Endowment
The establishment of the Kent J. Bradford Endowment in Seed Science will provide support for a faculty member at UC Davis who would be focused on seed biology and technology and serve as the director of the Seed Biotechnology Center. The endowment will ensure that the seed industry’s needs for academic research, education and public service can continue to be met in perpetuity.

We are thrilled to highlight a recent gift to the endowment from East-West Seed:

It is with partners like this that are helping us to work towards meeting the endowment goal. Thank you East-West Seed! For more information about the endowment, please visit

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)

European Seed names SBC Education Director Rale Gjuric one of 20 most influential seed people in Europe

20 Highly Influential Seeds-people in Europe in 2017
In an attempt to draw much-deserved attention to the movers and shakers in the European seed sector, European Seed put together a list of people who they view as highly influential in 2017. You may ask what makes an individual worthy of a spot on their list of the most influential seed people? They believe that each one of these incredible people have had a significant effect on the European seed sector in the past year(s)... Read article 

SBC Director of Research Allen Van Deynze and SeedQuest CEO Francois Korn featured in COMSTOCK'S January issue

SBC's Director of Research Allen Van Deynze and Seed Central's Francois Korn featured in COMSTOCK'S latest issue.
Comstock’s, a monthly business publication in the Sacramento region, has released an article in its current issue featuring UC Davis, the Seed Biotechnology Center and Seed Central illustrating the importance of modern plant breeding to the future of vegetables. Read article 
#UCDavis @UCDavisSBC

UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy highlighted at Plant and Animal Genome conference in San Diego as educational and training component of African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) 

Bambara groundnut
Howard-Yana Shapiro, chief agricultural officer at Mars Incorporated, who is also affiliated with UC Davis, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media lab, outlined the AOCC's goals during a session on African orphan crops at the conference. Read article 

SBC Director Kent Bradford presents in Bangkok at the Asia and Pacific Seed Association's (ASPA) annual flagship event

SBC Director Kent Bradford presents in Bangkok at the Asia and Pacific Seed Association's (ASPA) annual flagship event
For the final of seven technical sessions, APSA's Standing Committee on Seed Technology welcomed renowned seed and biotechnology academic, Professor Kent Bradford (UCDavis), whose work and expertise spans diverse areas of seed science, from seed germination and conservation to mathematical modeling and molecular biology. Prof. Bradford presented his popular and proven viability-optimising "dry chain" model for maintaining seed quality. Read more and view video

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