Investigating Agave: Scientists Studying Emerging Crop

An interdisciplinary team of scientists and researchers from University of California, Davis, are studying agave plants in the Golden State as farmers are turning to the crop as a potential drought-tolerant option of the future.

The research is centered on studying agave genetics, virus susceptibility, pest control, soil management and crop productivity, said Ron Runnebaum, a viticulture and enology professor who is leading the team of researchers at the newly formed UC Davis Agave Center.  

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.

Coast Redwood and Sequoia Genome Sequences Completed

Scientists have completed the sequences for the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. The research, officially published this week in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, helps to better explain the genetic basis for these species’ ability to adapt to their changing environments. The research indicates that the coast redwood genome evolved from a single ancestral species.

A New Day is Dawning for Genetic Improvement in Livestock

The future of livestock breeding is taking shape at UC Davis. In the laboratory of animal scientist Pablo Ross, groundbreaking discoveries are being made that will pave the way for raising healthier, more productive and better-adapted cattle, sheep and other species.

In 2018, the Ross lab reported the first successful effort to grow embryonic stem cells from cattle in a petri dish. This milestone is a crucial step in the development of faster and more focused breeding programs.