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

November eNews

The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) has had a busy season.  We hope you enjoy catching up on some of our latest activities.

The SBC is holding its course on Breeding with Genomics in Davis on Feb 11-13th, 2014
This year, we 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. For more information, see or Sally Mohr at

An early-bird discount will apply for registrants by Dec 9, 2013.

SBC publishes their 2012 Annual Report
This new report’s theme centers around plant breeding and the role that the SBC has played in it.  It also highlights new efforts by the Department of Plant Sciences that will create a Center for Plant Breeding and discusses how the two centers will complement each other.  In addition, our educational, outreach and research programs are also reported on.  For more information go to or click on the image.

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy Class V
The Plant Breeding Academy is a premium professional program currently offered in the USA, Europe and Asia.  Eight classes have been held worldwide since 2006 and were attended by 133 breeders from 26 countries, making the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy the most recognized program of its kind.  Class V starts in September 2014 and registration will open soon.  If you are interested in applying please contact Joy Patterson at  For additional information on all of the academies go to

The African Plant Breeding Academy
In December the first class of this academy will start in Kenya.  This program is part of the African Orphan Crops Consortia (AOCC) which will also sequence 100 orphan crops.  SBC’s role is to train African plant breeders how to work with this data and how to improve their breeding programs.  This course is the first of a four-year program.  All training is funded by Mars, Incorporated who is part of the AOCC, as is the SBC.

Other Courses
In September 2013 we offered a new course, Program Management for Plant Breeders.  Enrollment reached the maximum of 40. 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. This program will be offered again September 16-18, 2014 at UC Davis.

Seed Business 101
This 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. The next sessions are:

Horticultural Crops: January 20 – 24, 2014, Monterey, California, USA
Field Crops: June 2 – 7, 2014, Coralville, Iowa and December 1 – 5, 2014, Chicago, Illinois

Seed Central
The SBC continues to be engaged in many Seed Central activities and projects.  To learn more about Seed Central come to our next Networking event on November 14, 2013.  The featured speaker is Dr. David Zilberman, Robinson Chair, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.  His topic is Agricultural Biotechnology: The Promise and the Prospects.  The event starts at 4:30 at the UC Davis Conference Center. More about Seed Central can be found here.

Huo, H., Dahal, P., Kunusoth, K., McCallum, C.M. and Bradford, K.J. 2013. Expression of 9-cis-EPOXYCAROTENOID DIOXYGENASE4 Is Essential for Thermoinhibition of Lettuce Seed Germination but Not for Seed Development or Stress Tolerance. Plant Cell 28:884-900.

Hill, T.A., Ashrafi, H., Reyes-Chin-Wo, S., Yao, J., Stoffel, K., Trucio, M-J., Kozik., A., Michelmore, R.W. and Van Deynze, A. 2013. Characterization of Capsicum annuum Genetic Diversity and Population Structure Based on Parallel Polymorphism Discovery with a 30K Unigene Pepper GeneChip. PLoS ONE 8:1-16.
Yarnes, S., Ashrafi, H., Hill, T.A., Reyes Chin-Wo, S., Stoffel, K. and Van Deynze, A. E. 2013. Identification of QTLs for capsaicinoids, fruit quality, and plant architecture-related traits in an interspecific Capsicum RIL population. Genome 1-14.

Truco, M.J., Ashrafi, H., Kozik, A., van Leeuwen, H., Bowers, J., Reyes Chin-Wo, S., Stoffel, K., Xu, H., Hill, T., Van Deynze, A.E. and Michelmore, R.W. 2013. An ultra-high-density, transcript-based, genetic map of lettuce. G3 doi:10.1534/g3.112.004929.

Iorizzo, M., Senalik, D.A., Ellison, S.L., Grzebelus, D., Cavagnaro, P.F., Allender, C., Brunet, J., Spooner, D.M., Van Deynze, A. and Simon, P.W. 2013. Genetic structure and domestication of carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) (Apiaceae). American Journal of Botany 100:930-8.

For questions or comments, please contact Susan DiTomaso at


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