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

January eNews

January 2014 e-News

Seed Central
Davis, CA, February 13, 2014

Dr. Pam Marrone, founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations, will be the featured speaker at the Seed Central / Food Central networking event  on the topic: Trends and new market opportunities in bio pesticides. The evening Networking and Forum will be held at the Conference Center, UC Davis and starts at 4:30 PM.

February will also be a Value-added afternoon. Seed Central SCIENCE from 1:30 - 4:00 PM will be held in the Plant & Environmental Sciences Building (Room 3001), UC Davis. The special session will occur with members of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis.  The topic is Engineering in modern agriculture: from planting to harvesting.  The speakers are:

  • Raul Piedrahita - Brief introduction and history of the department and some of its significant contributions to agriculture
  • Shrini Upadhyaya - Precision Canopy and Water Management in Orchard Crops
  • David Slaughter - Automated GPS-based Seedling Mapping and Intra-Row Weed Control System
  • Michael Delwiche - Precision Irrigation and Fertilization using Wireless Networks
  • Ken Giles - Technology Development for Ag Chemical Application and Traceability
  • Stavros Vougioukas - Advanced mechanization and automation for specialty crops production

Genome Sequencing Reveals what puts the ‘Heat’ in Hot Peppers

University of California, Davis, January 21, 2014

The genome of the hot pepper, the world's most widely grown spice crop, has been sequenced by a large international team of researchers, including scientists at the University of California, Davis. The new reference genome sheds light on the biology of the pepper's hallmark pungency, or spiciness, as well as its fruit-ripening and disease-resistance mechanisms. It also reveals new information crucial for improving the horticultural, nutritional and medicinal qualities of these peppers, whose annual global production has grown more than 40-fold during the past two decades and now exceeds $14.4 billion. Highlights from the sequencing effort were reported Jan. 19 as an Advanced Online publication of the journal Nature Genetics. "The pepper genome is one of the largest genomes assembled to date," said plant scientist Allen Van Deynze, director of research at UC Davis' Seed Biotechnology Center and a co-author on the study.

Breeding with Genomics
Davis, CA, February 11-13, 2014

This year, there are extended modules on genomic selection and a hands-on workshop introducing the Integrated Breeding Platform, software designed to manage breeding programs from population development, field testing, selection with markers and breeding databases. The course is aimed at professionals who are directly or indirectly involved in plant breeding and germplasm improvement. The course is taught by experts from both industry and academia.

Seed Analytics 2020
Davis, CA, March 11-13, 2014

This new workshop will provide an in-depth view of analytical equipment that is shaping the future of seed research and the industry. The program will include theoretical and practical modules on the fundamentals of seed respiration and maturity, principles of the Q2 Scanner, CF-Mobile, Videometer, experimental setup, data analysis and applications. The program is offered in partnership with the International Seed Academy, the Centor Group and the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center.

For questions contact Susan DiTomaso at

Seed Business 101

Field Crops: Coralville, Iowa, June 2–6, 2014
Field Crops: Chicago, Illinois, December 5-9, 2014
Horticulture Crops: Davis, CA, December 8-12, 2014This one-week course is designed to expose participants to the five functional areas of a seed company (R&D, production, operations, sales and marketing and administration). By creating a virtual seed company and case studies for each functional area, the course content is delivered in a very interactive way. The program gives new employees a broad understanding of the major aspects of a seed company’s operations and cross-departmental knowledge of best practices for profitability. The course is taught by widely respected industry executives with additional help of industry experts participating as guest speakers. Since the beginning of this program in 2010, over 200 participants have completed this course.

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy
Davis, CA September 2014

The Academy is a premium professional certificate course offered in the United States, Europe and Asia. To date, 133 breeders from 30 countries have attended the Plant Breeding Academy (PBA), making it the most significant training of its kind.  The African Plant Breeding Academy, the most recent addition to the Seed Biotechnology Center’s programs, began in December 2013.A recent survey of UC Davis PBA graduates shows that the course has a significant impact on both the employer and the graduated employee.  Graduates from the first classes in the United States and Europe were surveyed with three statements measuring the impact of the PBA on the contribution the graduates make to their organizations and the recognition they have received for their contributions. 89% of respondents agree or strongly agree that they have become more productive employees in their respective organizations.  84% of graduates agree or strongly agree that the complexity of their tasks and duties have increased as a result of the PBA training.  57% of the respondents agree that the PBA contributed to positive career changes in terms of promotion and salary. Almost 70% of UC Davis PBA students come from organizations that have repeatedly sent students to the program, which is the ultimate measure of employer satisfaction.Applications are now being accepted for Class V of the US PBA that begins in September of 2014. For more information on Academy visit or contact Joy Patterson at


Program Management for Plant Breeders
Davis, CA, September 16-18, 2014

The course objective is to enhance the management skills of professional scientists who are leading and directing plant breeding and laboratory programs in modern agricultural research and development programs of agribusiness companies and the public sector.  Some of the topics include:

  • Understanding where your plant breeding or research program fits in the overall strategy of the organization. Establishing a vision and goal for your program and defining your key strategies and capacities.
  • Comprehending the financial aspects of your program. Managing budgets, expenses, capital projects and period reporting. Reading and understanding a financial statement and managing your resources within the goals of your organization.
  • Leading and managing people towards a common goal. Learning the principles of effective hiring, retention, evaluation, promotion, training, mentorship and motivation. Handling difficult situations using conflict resolution. Dealing with and embracing change and creating a culture of innovation.
  • Creating effective and efficient programs. Understanding the principles of work flow, scheduling, safety, and legal compliance. Learning issues surrounding intellectual property and contracts, treaties and agreements.

Lead instructors include industry experts, Fred Bliss, Tom Francois and Rale Gjuric.


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