Alan B. Bennett

Alan Bennett

Position Title
Distinguished Professor of Plant Sciences

Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

1117 Plant Reproductive Biology

Profile Introduction

Professor Alan Bennett is a member of the Plant Sciences Department at UC Davis and founding Executive Director of the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA). His research and publications range from plant cell wall disassembly to public policy issues for agriculture.

Research Interests

Molecular biology of tomato fruit development and ripening; cell wall disassembly; intellectual property rights in agriculture; university-based innovation.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Environmental and Integrative Biology
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics


  • Bennett Laboratory

Honors and Awards

  • Senior Fellow, California Council on Science and Technology (Elected 2006)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (Elected 2005)
  • ISI Most Cited Author in Plant and Animal Sciences


    • 1977 BS Plant Physiology University of California, Davis
    • 1982 PhD Plant Biology Cornell University


    Rose J.C., Bennett A.B. 1999. Cooperative disassembly of the cellulose-xyloglucan network of plant cell walls: Parallels between cell expansion and fruit ripening. Trends in Plant Sci. 4:176-183.

    Graff G.D., Cullen S.E., Bradford K.J., Zilberman D., Bennett A.B. 2003. The public-private structure of intellectual property ownership in agricultural biotechnology. Nature Biotech. 21:989-995.

    Boettiger S., Bennett A.B. 2006. Bayh-Dole: If we knew then what we know now. Nature Biotech. 24:320-324.

    Cantu D., Vicente A.R., Greve L.C., Dewey F.M., Bennett A.B., Labavitch J.M., Powell A.L.T. 2008. The intersection between cell wall disassembly, ripening and fruit susceptibility to B. cinerea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 105:859-864.

    Bennett A.B. 2010. History of the world – through the eyes of a plant breeder. Science 329:391-392

    Bennett A.B. 2010. Food Security: Translational agriculture. Science 328:429.

    Powell A.L.T., Nguyen C.V., Hill T., Cheng K-L.L., Figueroa-Balderas R., Aktas H., Ashrafi H., Pons C., Fernandez-Munioz R., Vicente A., Lopez-Baltazar J., Barry C.S., Liu Y., Chetelat R., Granell A., Van Deynze A., Giovannoni J.J., Bennett A.B. 2012. Uniform ripening (U) encodes a Golden 2-like transcription factor regulating tomato fruit chloroplast development. Science 336:1711-1715.

    Jefferson D., Graff G., Chi-Ham C., Bennett A.B. 2015. The emergence of agbiogenerics. Nature Biotech 33:819-823.