Food & Agriculture

Parasitic Weeds Threaten Tomato Plants on California Farms

At first glance, Orobanche ramosa looks like an interesting blossoming plant, one that could add a unique flair to flower arrangements. But it’s a parasitic weed that attaches to roots, sucks out nutrients and is threatening California’s lucrative $1.5 billion processing tomato industry.

Summer Scholar Mentoring and Research Program a Pathway for Diverse Students

This summer, four students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, came to UC Davis for seven immersive weeks of research, field work, training and mentoring.

The students from Fort Valley State University in Georgia and Florida A&M University worked with faculty studying plant, food and other sciences as part of the Plant Agricultural Biology Graduate Admissions Pathways, or PABGAP, program.

Russia’s Actions Threaten Global Food Security

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 caused wheat and corn prices to spike 30% and 13%, respectively, and threatened a worldwide food crisis. International efforts to mitigate a food security crisis via the Solidarity Lanes and the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) have successfully allowed grain exports out of Ukraine. However, Russia’s recent withdrawal from the BSGI, coupled with increased bombings of Odesa and Danube River ports, caused another price spike for these grains.

UC Davis Genome Center Appoints New Director

Blake Meyers, a principal investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and a professor of plant sciences from the University of Missouri - Columbia, has been named the new director and Novozymes Chair in Genomics at the UC Davis Genome Center. Meyers, who studies plant RNA biology, bioinformatics and functional genomics, will step into the role on March 1, 2024.

UC Davis Institute Devoted to Food and Wine Has New Director

Edward “Ned” Spang has been named director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, or RMI, at the University of California, Davis. Spang, an associate professor with the Department of Food Science and Technology, began his new position on Aug. 1. He succeeds wine chemist Andrew Waterhouse, professor emeritus with the Department of Viticulture and Enology, who retired in June after five years as RMI director. 

More Than a Taste Test: What It’s Like to be on a Trained Sensory Panel

Pieces of dried mango rest on the bottom of a black opaque goblet. Next to it, another glass contains apricot jam. Leticia Cardoso Madureira Tavares, a second-year Ph.D. student in biosystems engineering, brings the glasses up to her nose one at a time to take a sniff.

Honey varieties being studied

Orange blossom: gathered from California citrus groves, it’s light in color with mild citrus and floral notes.

Teaching Lands Nourish Hungry Aggies

Red, ripe cherries hide in small clusters amid long leaves in the UC Davis teaching orchard. They’re sweet, juicy, beautiful. In area grocery stores, such delights cost up to $8 a pound, but these would have gone to the birds. They must be harvested by hand, and at the price of labor, they’re too expensive to pick, said orchard manager Victor Serratos of the Department of Plant Sciences.