Food & Agriculture

CRISPR Genome Editing Strategy Could Improve Rice, Other Crops

March 16, 2020

Scientists at UC Davis have used CRISPR technology to genetically engineer rice with high levels of beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. The technique they used provides a promising strategy for genetically improving rice and other crops. The study was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

A Message From the Dean - February 2020

February 25, 2020
Investigating plant health is well-rooted at UC Davis

Spring is in full bloom in Davis, and the early blossoming trees and flowers remind us of the importance of plants and the role they play in our lives. We depend on plants for the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the natural areas we enjoy. Plants are so important to our wellbeing that the United Nations designated 2020 the International Year of Plant Health.

Mason Earles: Algorithms and Agriculture

February 14, 2020

As the climate changes, farmers need new, high-tech tools to precisely measure resource use and predict yield so they can produce crops with less water, fertilizer and pesticide. New BAE assistant professor Mason Earles is bringing expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) to this new era of agriculture by developing algorithms to help farmers better and more efficiently grow, treat and harvest their crops.

Startup Uses Advanced Imaging Technology and Machine Learning to Sort Seeds and Insects

January 23, 2020

Christian Nansen, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, has launched a startup, Spectral Analytix, to apply machine vision and machine learning to the classification and sorting of seeds and insects.

“The idea is to combine machine vision, robotics and machine learning so you have an automatic eye, an automated arm and an automated brain,” said Nansen. “If you automate those three components you end up with a system that can automatically classify or sort whatever you are working with.”

UC Davis Releases 5 New Wine Grape Varieties

December 18, 2019
Plants Are Resistant to Deadly Pierce’s Disease

For the first time since the 1980s, University of California, Davis, researchers have released new varieties of wine grapes. The five new varieties, three red and two white, are highly resistant to Pierce’s disease, which costs California grape growers more than $100 million a year. The new, traditionally bred varieties also produce high-quality fruit and wine.

Grapevine Red Blotch Disease Threatens U.S. Grape Industry

December 16, 2019
$3 Million Grant Awarded to Study Causes, Impact of Grapevine Virus

University of California, Davis, scientists will lead a collaborative effort to study grapevine red blotch disease, which threatens the $162 billion U.S. grape industry. The virus causes red veins and blotches on grape leaves. The fruit on diseased plants is smaller, ripens more slowly, and its sugars and colors are muted.

The Lowdown on Home Food Fermentation

December 16, 2019
6 Tips for Home Food Fermentation 6 Tips for Home Food Fermentation

In California, fermented foods and beverages are especially trending with young people, and food safety specialist Erin DiCaprio said information is in demand.

“I get calls every day from people asking things like, ‘There’s a white film on top of my sauerkraut. Is it still safe to eat?’” DiCaprio said.

A Digital Game to Improve How Index Insurance Promotes Resilience to Drought

December 04, 2019

The game is simple. On a brown digital grassland with a single tree, tiny goats mill back and forth. When you decide how many of those goats to buy or sell and how many to insure, clouds float across the screen and one of two things happens: the clouds stop and rain falls, roughly doubling the goats and producing milk for sale, or the clouds move steadily across the screen and half your herd is wiped out.