Past Newsletters



January's grad student spotlight hears from Amy Groom, a second year student in horticulture and agronomy. We also congratulate Dr. Charlie Brummer, a Plant Sciences faculty member who was elected as a fellow of AAAS in Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources! 


In this month's issue we feature graduate student Rachel Frank-Greenhut, who works in the spinach breeding program. Also in this issue are registration links for our third Thursday field trip and UC Davis Plant Breeding Retreat. 


Our field trip this month will be held at the UCD McClellan Nuclear Research Center, where we will tour the facility and see their nuclear generator. We also feature grad student Kimberly Gibson and talk about her work on lima beans.

June This month we hear from Youngjun Mo, a grad student in Dubcovsky lab conducting wheat genetics research. For upcoming events, we have the National Association of Plant Breeders 2017 annual meeting and the Student Organic Seed Symposium. Links to sign up are provided in the newsletter. 
May Happy Spring! This month we are highlighting the work of Scott Newell, a graduate student in horticulture and agronomy. We will also be hosting a Third Thursday at Wolfskill Experimental Orchards on May 18. Articles include publication of lettuce genome assembly, genetic decay of cassava, and Dr. David Stelly winning ICAC 2017!
February This month, we hear from graduate student Stephanie Smolenski Zullo from the St. Clair lab, the PBC hosts a seminar led by Dr. Monica Alandete-Saez from PIPRA on February 16, and Associate Director Allen Van Deynze is recognized by NCCPB.
January Welcome to a new quarter. Attached is the January newsletter. This month, we hear from graduate student Zachary Dashner from the Gepts lab, the PBC hosts its annual Film Screening on January 11th, and the Student Collaborative Organic Plant breeding Education (SCOPE) seminar starts up again. For more information on the SCOPE project, visit:




Attached you will find the November 2016 PBC newsletter featuring Mengyuan Xiao as our Graduate Student Spotlight. Stories include a piece from Susan Moenga of the UC Davis Chickpea Innovation Lab and an article exploring the fate of the familiar Cavendish banana.


The PBC newsletters are starting up again for another academic year. Attached you will find the October 2016 PBC newsletter featuring Dr. Dina St. Clair as our Faculty Focus. Stories include a new international treaty ratified by congress, which was partially authored by some of our own UC Davis faculty, and a piece on maize’s genetics in relation to adaptation to climate change. The PBC also welcomes Dr. Asmund Bjornstad for a seminar on October 27th.


In this issue, we hear from Viviana Medina, a fifth year PhD student in the Horticulture and Agronomy Gradaute Group. Our Third Thursday trip to Wolfskill Experimental Orchards is on May 19, and Dr. Steve Jones of WSU Bread Lab will lead our Fourth Tuesday seminar on May 24.


This month we share a personal interest story from Ardeshir Damania in Plant Sciences. We’ve also included information about the speakers at the upcoming UC Davis Plant Breeding Symposium on April 18. Finally, our Third Thursday trip to Alforex Seeds is on April 21.


In addition to the graduate student spotlight, the PBC is introducing a faculty biography focus to broaden the plant breeding community on campus. This month, we hear from Professor Tom Gradziel in Pomology.

February This month we hear from Travis Parker in the Gepts lab, we visit Syngenta Seeds, Inc. for Third Thursday, and registration for the 2016 Plant Breeding Symposium is open.
January We begin our 2016 newsletters with a summary of the previous year and our plans and goals for the upcoming one, including the start of a new seminar series on the fourth Tuesday of every month. The PBC’s Second Annual Community Film Screening on January 28, 2016 will be presenting The Mesoamerican Diet: Origins, and is open to all community members.




This month, Claire Heinitz discusses her research in the Walker lab and her new position with the USDA; the priority deadline to apply for a graduate program in Horticulture and Agronomy and be considered for the National Needs Graduate Fellowship is January 5th, 2016; and the PBC announces its second annual community screening event and will be playing the film The Mesoamerican Diet: Origins, which is free and open to all community members, including people not affiliated with UC Davis.


This month we welcome Dr. Liz Carlisle for a Third Thursday book signing on November 19th, and the PBC and Student Farm announce a USDA-NIFA OREI grant.


This month we feature graduate student Nicolas Cobo, and the USDA NIFA announces the recipients of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant, including UC Davis.


Dr. Rex Bernardo will host a Third Thursday seminar and student lunch on October 15th, and the Plant Breeding Center is hiring an undergraduate student assistant.


This month we hear from Joshua Hegarty, the Dubcovsky lab unveils a gene that governs wheat vernalization, Professor Andy Walker hosts a Thursday field tour in the vineyard, and registration opens for Amigo Bob Cantisano’s seminar and student lunch.


This month we hear from Tamara Miller in Tanzania, UC Davis is well represented at the National Association of Plant Breeders’ 2015 Annual Meeting, and we visit Morning Star Co. for a field trip in collaboration with Seed Central.


In this issue, we have a feature on the Plant Breeding for Food Security symposium, information on our Third Thursday tour of Arcadia Biosciences on June 18th, a scholarship opportunity, and the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meeting call for abstracts.


This month we hear from graduate student Jorge Berny, we visit FPS for Third Thursday, the PBC hosts the Khush Symposium, UC Davis is ranked #1 in the world for agriculture and forestry, and Professor Pam Ronald is featured in National Geographic. May will be quite a month!


In this issue we welcome new Professor and strawberry breeder, Steve Knapp. Professor Emeritus Cal Qualset leads our Third Thursday, and we feature an article on Professor Pam Ronald’s Ted Talk.


This month we hear from Dr. Leah McHale, Assistant Professor of Horticulture & Crop Science at the Ohio State University and alum of the Michelmore lab. We will be visiting Wolfskill Experimental Orchards on March 19th for Third Thursday, where Professor Tom Gradziel will lead our seminar.


You can now find the Plant Breeding Center on Facebook and Twitter! We post photos from campus, interesting articles, and event info.


In this month’s newsletter, we welcome Allen Van Deynze as the Associate Director of the PBC, and we hear from Sarah Dohle who is in Colombia researching lima beans.


This issue includes a recent debate on GMOs by one of UC Davis’ staff and info to register for the screening of the film Seeds of Time




The first newsletter for the Plant Breeding Center is out today. Newsletters will be distributed monthly to our mailing list, and a quarterly edition will be distributed by email to the PBC’s external affiliates.


Happy Holidays! The December newsletter is out, and we have some exciting news. New York Times best selling author Susan Dworkin, author of The Viking in the Wheat Field, will be leading a seminar and a discussion hosted by the Plant Breeding Center. Refer to the newsletter events page for registration and details.


Past News and Other Publications



February 2014

NAPB Newsletter

December 2013

American Seed Trade Association: Cord, Sorghum, & Soybean Seed Expo


Poster Presentation/Competition

June 2013

National Association of Plant Breeders Honors Graduate Students


Three students were selected on the basis of their research potential to give oral presentations as NAPB sponsored speakers. Rebecca Nitcher of the University of California at Davis described the effects of the FT-B1 allele on heading time and agronomic traits in wheat.

June 2013

National Association of Plant Breeders Awards (PDF)

June 2013

National Association of Plant Breeders Meeting Summary (PDF)

May 8, 2013

UC Davis ranks No. 1 in the world for agricultural teaching and research!

April 13, 2013

Jorge Dubcovsky, wheat geneticist, statistician elected to the National Academy of Sciences

April 12, 2013

Modern Tools in Plant Breeding Symposium is a huge success! at UC Davis

December 2012

Paul Bilinski is awarded the Howie Smith Fellowship from Pioneer Hi-Bred International