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

June 2019 eNews

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SBC Spotlights

Kent Bradford and Sue DiTomaso Retire from SBC

Kent Bradford and Sue DiTomaso retire from SBC
After 20 years of service to the SBC, Director Kent Bradford and Associate Director Sue DiTomaso will be retiring in July. Kent and Sue were instrumental in the founding of the SBC in 1999. Perfectly complementary in their contributions, Kent has served as our steadfast faculty leader while Sue managed overall center operations and administration, including program and outreach development and financial and personnel management (sustaining a happy staff). Kent and Sue will be greatly missed! Our best wishes to them in their retirement.

Allen Van Deynze to become SBC Director

Allen Van Deynze to become SBC Director
As Kent Bradford retires next month, Allen Van Deynze will become the Director for the Seed Biotechnology Center. Allen has been with the SBC since 2002 as the Research Director. He will continue to run his research program and other activities while directing other efforts of the SBC. We are proud to also announce that most recently, Allen received the Excellence in Research Award by his peers at UC Davis (see article below).

Happy 20th Birthday, SBC!

SBC 20 Year Anniversary, UC Davis
The Seed Biotechnology Center is celebrating its 20thAnniversary this year! We’re appreciating the past and looking forward. On September 12th, the SBC will host a day-long event with panels highlighting researchers, students, industry representatives and policy makers. Our hope is to hear from you. The day will conclude with Seed Central’s networking event and a presentation by Kent Bradford in the evening. Although there is no-charge for the event, participation will be on a first-come, first serve bases. More information will be available this summer.

SBC to host Seed Business 101 Field Crops in St. Charles, Illinois

SBC will host Seed Business 101 Field Crops in St. Charles, Illinois from August 19-23, 2019
SBC will host Seed Business 101 Field Crops in St. Charles, Illinois from August 19-23, 2019. This course will give participants insight into the major aspects of a seed company’s operations and best practices for profitability. Early-bird pricing ends June 28, 2019!  More info

The Kent J. Bradford Endowment

Kent J. Bradford Endowed Chair in Seed Science
The establishment of the Kent J. Bradford Endowed Chair in Seed Science will provide support for a faculty member at UC Davis who will be focused on seed biology and technology and help lead 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 delighted to highlight recent gift to the endowment from Anthony Tse (pictured with UC Davis CA&ES Dean Helene Dillard in photo on right) with Clover Seeds. This is Anthony’s second gift which demonstrates his commitment to “top-up” the endowment in honor of SBC’s 20thanniversary.  To donate

News from Seed Central

Seed Central
Seed Central  is a public-private partnership. Established in 2010, Seed Central is an initiative of the Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis and SeedQuest. Seed Central facilitates communication & research collaboration between the seed and ag biotech industry and UC Davis in order to bring science to market faster.

In January, Seed Central hosted a Networking Tech Showcase for seed, ag, and food companies: startups, early-stage and beyond. The showcase was the most successful to date with 40 companies in attendance. To learn more about the tech showcase partners and speakers, please click here. For past Seed Central events and speakers, click here.

Upcoming Seed Central events:

September 12, 2019| Special Event celebrating the 20thAnniversary of the Seed Biotechnology Center. Networking 4:30 - 6:00 pm with startup entrepreneur Alex Schultink, Founder & CEO Fortiphyte. The featured speaker at 6:00 - 7:00 pm is SBC’s Director Dr. Kent Bradford. Topic: The Past is Prologue.

October 10, 2019| Seed Central Brainstorming Session with the UC Davis Plant Sciences Department. Thisis a half-day event. Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 pm. Brainstorming session: 1:30 - 4:00 pm. Networking: 4:30 - 6:00 pm. Featured speaker 6:00 - 7:00 pm: Dr. Mark Stowers Senior Vice-President, Operations and Products, Inari. Topic: The competitive landscape of seed & agbiotech clusters. To register and for the calendar of events,  click here.

Upcoming SBC Events

ISSS Registration and Molecular Seed Dormancy

SBC Director Kent Bradford will be presenting at the International Society of Seed Science’s 6th Workshop on Molecular Aspects of Seed Dormancy and Germination, being held in Volendam, The Netherlands from September 22 to 25, 2019. There will be panels on recent research developments and visits to world-leading vegetable and flower seed companies in Seed Valley. For questions and additional information about the workshop, email organizers or visit the conference web site @

Save the Date: March 16, 2020! 

The Future of Lettuce:

The Future of Lettuce: A Symposium organized by the Genes to Growers Project
A Symposium organized by the Genes to Growers Project (funded by the Specialty Crops Research Initiative of the USDA National Research Initiative with co-PIs Richard Michelmore and Kent Bradford). Convening experts in lettuce breeding, production, post-harvest handling, safety, marketing, and consumer preferences to envision the future of lettuce.
Meeting registration opens soon!

Upcoming SBC Courses

Seed Business 101 - Field Crops
August 19 - 23, 2019, St. Charles, IL USA
Course Info

UC Davis Plant Breeding AcademySM in Europe
The UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) is a professional educational program offered since 2006 with classes in USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. To date, the program has trained nearly 330 breeders, 70% of which are from the private seed industry. Class VI of the European PBA will start in October 2019. Participants attend six 6-day sessions over approximately two years. Applications now being accepted. Information and application available online Click here

Hemp Breeding and Seed Production   New course!
October 29-30, 2019, Davis, CA USA

Seed Business 101 - Horticulture
December 9 - 13, 2019, Davis, CA USA

Seed Production
February 10-13, 2020, Davis, CA USA

AfPBA Class V Call for Applications
In collaboration with The African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), The Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA), Mars, Incorporated and the  African Orphan Crops Consortium, Class V of the University of California, Davis African Plant Breeding AcademySMwill begin in May 2020. Applications for this 6-week program will be released in August 2019. To apply, find more information about applicant qualifications and course dates, visit

Recent SBC Courses

UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) Class IV Completes Session 2

UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) Class IV Completes Session 2

The AfPBA and ICRAF welcomed Class IV to Nairobi, Kenya in May for the second of three two-week sessions attended over 13 months. This class of 36 students represented professionals from 24 nations and 31 institutions throughout Africa.

Call for applications for Class V of the African PBA is scheduled for August 2019. Visit us on-line for more info.

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy in Davis Class VII Finishes Week 3

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy in Davis Class VII Finishes Week 3

The UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy in Davis Class VII completed week three of the program at UC Davis from June 3-8. Visits to Sakata Seed America, John Larse Farms, and Enza Zaden in Watsonville, CA and San Juan Bautista, CA highlighted the week for the 14 academy participants.

Applications are being accepted now for the upcoming European Plant Breeding Academy (Class VI)  More info

SBC in the Press

Protecting Quality along the Dry Chain, Kent Bradford


Protecting Quality along the Dry Chain

The UC Davis Innovation Lab for Horticulture recently hosted a webinar about the dry chain. Listen to how Dr. Kent Bradford and others are helping to protect the quality and safety of dried commodities. Read more







SBC Receives AFRI Plant Breeding Awards

Allen Van Deynze, SBC incoming Director, and Phyllis Himmel, CPPSI Director, were awarded with Breakthrough Technology Awards for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) in Plant Breeding. The awards will go to further fund plant breeding research and conferences. Read article


Crop Safety Workshop a Success

Breeding Crops for Enhanced Food Safety Conference
Allen Van Deynze, SBC incoming Director, organized Breeding Crops for Enhanced Food Safety Conference from June 5-6, 2019. 80 attendees collaborated to create a white paper identifying opportunities in this emerging field. 




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