Agricultural Experiment Station

UC Davis Team Identifies Wheat Gene that Increases Yield

A team of scientists from University of California, Davis, have identified a new gene variant in wheat that can increase the amount of the grain produced, new research published in the journal PLOS Genetics finds.

Wheat is a staple of food diets worldwide and the gene discovery could allow farmers to grow more food without increasing land use. Increased yield could also lower consumer prices, making the crop more accessible.

Study Challenges Evolutionary Theory That DNA Mutations Are Random

A simple roadside weed may hold the key to understanding and predicting DNA mutation, according to new research from University of California, Davis, and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany. 

The findings, published today in the journal Nature, radically change our understanding of evolution and could one day help researchers breed better crops or even help humans fight cancer.

“Fungi to save the world”

Mycelium, the white filament-like root structure of mushrooms, might be an important building block of a more sustainable world. By growing mycelium with a biomass—anything from coffee grounds to leftover agricultural waste—researchers at UC Davis are creating sustainable structures that can be turned into everything from biodegradable plastics and circuit boards to filters that remove harmful antibiotic and pesticide residues from water.

UC Davis Researchers Develop Ice Cube That Doesn’t Melt or Grow Mold

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new type of cooling cube that could revolutionize how food is kept cold and shipped fresh without relying on ice or traditional cooling packs. 

These plastic-free, “jelly ice cubes” do not melt, are compostable and anti-microbial, and prevent cross-contamination. 

“When ice melts, it’s not reusable,” said Gang Sun, a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. “We thought we could make a so-called solid ice to serve as a cooling medium and be reusable.” 

Cultural Biases Impact Native Fish, Too

From art to religion to land use, much of what is deemed valuable in the United States was shaped centuries ago by the white male perspective. Fish, it turns out, are no exception.

A study published in Fisheries Magazine, a journal of the American Fisheries Society, explores how colonialist attitudes toward native fishes were rooted in elements of racism and sexism. It describes how those attitudes continue to shape fisheries management today, often to the detriment of native fishes.

Machines Can Help Wine Grape Industry Survive Labor Shortage

Study Reviews Best Practices for Growers

Wine grape growers in California and elsewhere face increasing labor costs and severe labor shortages, making it difficult to manage and harvest a vineyard while maintaining profitability. Growers are increasingly turning to machines for pruning, canopy management and harvesting, but how well these practices are executed can substantially affect yield and quality.

Sheep Will Graze the UC Davis Gateway to Help Maintain Landscape

Lawn in Main Thoroughfare Will Become Pastoral

Sheep will graze the University of California, Davis, Campus Gateway on Old Davis Road this week in an academic experiment to see if sheep can eat weeds and grass, fertilize and control pests as well as or better than using conventional landscaping methods.

Exploring smoke taint on the fly

Wildfires spark UC Davis research, wine industry collaboration 

The California wildfires of 2020 were especially hard on the state’s wine industry, damaging billions of dollars in property and grapes. Growers and vintners say it would have been much worse if not for timely science from the University of California, Davis. As destructive as they were, the 2020 wildfires have sparked renewed investment in the research and collaboration that keeps California’s wine industry resilient in a changing world.