Plant Breeding Center

UC Davis student plant breeders perfecting new variety of jalapeno popper pepper

Student plant breeders at UC Davis are getting closer to releasing a new variety of jalapeño pepper designed to elevate a popular appetizer dish. Nearly 10 years ago, students launched a project to breed a pepper with the taste and texture of a jalapeño, combined with an enlarged cavity like a bell pepper, to create the ideal fruit for making hearty jalapeño poppers.

Plant Breeding Center

The Plant Breeding Center (PBC) at UC Davis coordinates and expands plant breeding teaching and research on campus. We are focused on training students to be well rounded, with experience in field-based breeding evaluation and technique, supplemented with understanding of and facility with modern genomics and phenotyping technologies. Our purview covers all crops grown in California and beyond, from nut and fruit trees to vegetable and agronomic crops, including both seed propagated and clonal species.

Students Breeding a Better Organic Popper Pepper

Students practicing what they learn, breeding a new pepper

What do you get when you cross a jalapeño pepper with a bell pepper?

An ingenious group of UC Davis students are proving you can create a jumbo, organic, jalapeño “popper,” perfect for stuffing with rice, vegetables, protein and cheese. For the last four years, the young scientists have been making crosses and developing a new variety of pepper with the taste and texture of a jalapeño, an extra-large cavity, and the right traits to thrive on organic farms.

Better Berries

Industry upbeat about new UC Davis strawberry breeding research

Strawberry farmers and industry leaders say new science, education and collaborations underway at the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Program bode well for the quality and sustainability of strawberries in California. The breeding program has launched a large-scale genetic disease-resistance experiment, added students and staff researchers to its expanding team, and planted strawberry-yield trials on five farms from Ventura to Watsonville.