Food, Agriculture and Plant Biology

Grains in the Rain: Study Opens the Door to Flood-Resistant Crops

September 19, 2019
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.

A Chemical Lure That Sticks: New Trapping Methods for Citrus Greening Pest

September 09, 2019
The Asian citrus psyllid is the bogeyman of the citrus industry. Its appearance in fields is a dark harbinger for farmers, for carried within this insect is the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter, the cause of citrus greening disease. In a study published in Scientific Reports, UC Davis researchers report that an acetic acid-based, slow-release trap is capable of capturing Asian citrus psyllids even when the insect populations are low.

Chloroplasts, β-Barrel Proteins and Traversing through Graduate School

September 09, 2019
In a new publication in The Plant Cell — “Chloroplast Outer Membrane β-Barrel Proteins Use Components of the General Import Apparatus” — authors Philip Day, Steven Theg, and Kentaro Inoue, all at University of California, Davis, determined how β-barrel proteins are sorted to the correct location in plant chloroplast envelopes, which have two membranes.

Faculty Member Philipp Zerbe Shares his Experience with the Language of Plants—and People

May 09, 2019
Growing up in Germany, Philipp Zerbe knew he wanted to be a biologist by the time he was 5 years old. In fact, he scribbled the decision to become a ‘Biologe’ down on paper, which his parents kept—and gifted to him upon becoming an assistant professor of plant biology in the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis in 2014.

Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Mega-Genomes Sequenced

April 23, 2019
Scientists have successfully sequenced the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes, completing the first major milestone of a five-year project to develop the tools necessary to study these forests’ genomic diversity.

Plant Biochemistry to Feed the World via the “Corn Queen” Katherine Murphy

April 09, 2019
Plant biology Ph.D. student and UC Davis Grad Slam winner Katherine Murphy studies medicinal terpenes found in corn that could help bolster other crops' defenses. She’ll compete in the University of California Grad Slam Finals on May 10 in San Francisco.

Discovering Curiosity: Uncovering the Hidden World of Plants with Jennifer Gremer

February 27, 2019
Assistant Professor Jennifer Gremer showed an interest in plant life at an early age, but her path to scientific research wasn’t straightforward. She dabbled in many fields related to plant sciences, from working as an interpretive ranger in Yosemite National Park to performing botanical surveys for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Rice Plants That Reproduce as Clones From Seed

December 12, 2018
Plant biologists at UC Davis have discovered a way to make crop plants replicate through seeds as clones. The long-sought discovery could make it easier to propagate high-yielding, disease-resistant or climate-tolerant crops and make them available to the world’s farmers.

Social Bee-stortion: Exploring Pesticide’s Effects on Pollinators

November 08, 2018
In a study appearing in Science, researchers show that the pesticide imidacloprid, which has been sold in the U.S. since 1994, disrupts bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) nest behavior, causing reduced growth in exposed colonies.