Plant Sciences

Back-to-the-Future Plants Give Climate Change Insights

November 15, 2018
Outdoor Labs Give Realistic Sense of Plant Response to Future Climate Change

If you were to take a seed and zap it into the future to see how it will respond to climate change, how realistic might that prediction be? After all, seeds that actually grow in the future will have gone through generations of genetic changes and adaptations that these “time traveling” seeds don’t experience.

Change on the Range

October 17, 2018
First-generation ranchers help preserve California rangelands

A new breed of ranchers is bringing diverse demographics and unique needs to rangeland management in California. These first-generation “ranchers” are often young, female and less likely to, in fact, own a ranch. But like more traditional rangeland managers, this new generation holds a deep love for the lifestyle and landscapes that provide a wealth of public benefit to California and the world.

Ask the Tree

October 17, 2018
Study shows walnuts benefit from a little water stress

When it comes to watering walnuts, most California growers believe you need to start early to keep trees healthy and productive throughout the long, hot summer. But according to striking results from a long-term experiment in a walnut orchard in Red Bluff, California, growers can improve crop production if they hold off irrigation until later in the season and directly measure their trees’ water needs.

Nitrogen Efficiency

October 17, 2018
Coming together to protect the planet and feed the world

Art Bowman has been growing almonds in Modesto for more than 40 years. He stays up-to-date on the latest science and invests in technology that keeps his farming sustainable. He uses precision technology to apply nitrogen, for example, that essentially spoon-feeds water and nutrients to his trees.

“Our yields have increased quite a bit since we switched to precision application,” says Bowman, adjusting his hat against the noonday sun. “And that’s without adding any extra nitrogen. That’s huge.”

New insight into why Pierce’s disease is so deadly to grapevines

June 14, 2018
Research could help diagnose disease early and increase plant health

Scientists are gaining a better understanding of Pierce’s disease and how it affects grapevines. The disease, which annually costs California more than $100 million, comes from a bacterium called Xylella fastidiosa. While the bacterium has been present in the state for more than 100 years, Pierce’s disease became a more serious threat to agriculture with the arrival of the glassy-winged sharpshooter insect, which can carry the bacterium from plant to plant.

Plant scientist to be honored with UC Davis Medal

May 02, 2018

Gurdev Khush among those to receive highest campus honor at June 8 gala in Sacramento

Recipients of the UC Davis Medal were recently announced, and among them is Professor Emeritus Gurdev Khush of the Department of Plant Sciences. The medal is the highest honor the university bestows on individuals.

Khush is perhaps best known for his work with the International Rice Research Institute, where he spearheaded the program for developing high-yielding and disease- and insect-resistant varieties of rice.