Genome Project Will Restore Health of Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Forests

Some trees are better at surviving drought, fire, pests, and diseases than other trees. By identifying the genes responsible for these adaptations, scientists can compile a scalable database that will aid resource managers as they plan long-term conservation strategies, particularly as the climate changes. Professor David Neale, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, showed in…

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Tracking Down Transposable Elements in Maize: New Map Will Aid Research and Breeding Efforts

Overview: A new map of transposons in maize will help identify the role of transposable elements, and help with the breeding of maize, a major global crop. Transposable elements (also called transposons or “jumping genes”) have been an elusive DNA component for decades, primarily because they’ve been so difficult to sequence and assemble, until now….

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Gene Salad: Lettuce Genome Assembly Published

Represents most successful group of flowering plants  On April 12, 2017, UC Davis researchers announced in Nature Communications that they have unlocked a treasure-trove of genetic information about lettuce and related plants, releasing the first comprehensive genome assembly for lettuce and the huge Compositae plant family. Garden lettuce, or Lactuca sativa, is the plant species that includes a salad bar’s…

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Arabica Coffee Genome Sequenced: Coincides with Birth of California-Grown Specialty Coffee Industry

Quick Summary Will help develop disease-resistant varieties adaptable to climate change Sequence also key to improving coffee quality Aromatic Geisha variety used for sequencing WATCH THE VIDEO The first public genome sequence for Coffea arabica, the species responsible for more than 70 percent of global coffee production, was released on January 13 by researchers at…

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A Focus on Forgotten Crops

UC Davis is partnering in a global plant-breeding consortium fighting malnutrition and poverty in Africa by improving the continent’s traditional crops. The African Orphan Crop Consortium — conceived by Howard Shapiro, a senior fellow at UC Davis and the chief agricultural officer at Mars Inc. —  is making great strides in its ambitious attempt to…

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