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Discovery Increases Likelihood of Growing Food Despite Drought

University of California scientists have discovered genetic data that will help food crops like tomatoes and rice survive longer, more intense periods of drought on our warming planet.

Over the course of the last decade, the research team sought to create a molecular atlas of crop roots, where plants first detect the effects of drought and other environmental threats. In so doing, they uncovered genes that scientists can use to protect the plants from these stresses.

2021 David L. Weaver Endowed Lecture

The David L. Weaver Endowed Lecture Series in Biophysics and Computational Biology is dedicated to the memory of David L. Weaver, a prominent biophysics researcher and professor at Tufts University.  


Thank you to Dr. Eva Nogales for an insightful presentation for the 2021 David L. Weaver Endowed Lecture. You can watch Dr. Nogales' full presentation here. Note that it is necessary to log into your Zoom account to view the recording.

New Blue: Natural Cyan Blue Coloring Could Replace Synthetic Brilliant Blue

Blue coloring in nature is difficult to find; however, there is consumer demand for natural food coloring. Research conducted by Denish et al. (2021) in Science Advances describes the discovery of a cyan blue anthocyanin-based colorant. Synthetic biology and computational protein design tools were leveraged to develop an enzymatic transformation of red cabbage anthocyanins into the desired anthocyanin. This newly discovered cyan blue colorant could replace FD&C Blue No. 1.

NIH Award Supporting the Somatic Cell Genome Editing Consortium

The NIH has allocated US$190 million over 6 years in support of the Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) Consortium, which now includes 72 principal investigators from 38 institutions that are pursuing 45 distinct but well-integrated projects. The Genome Center professor David Segal is part of three projects at UC Davis, along with Alice Tarantal, Dennis Hartigan-O'Connor, Kit Lam, and R. Holland Cheng. A paper describing this effort appears in the April 8, 2021 issue of Nature

Fereydoun Hormozdiari Awarded NSF CAREER Award

Fereydoun Hormozdiari was recently awarded an NSF CAREER award for "Computational methods to improve our understanding of the diversity of genomic structural variation." As part of this project, Hormozdiari's Lab will develop novel methods for efficient and accurate discovery and genotyping of any structural variant using ever-changing sequencing technologies. This will provide the necessary methods for studying a diverse set of structural variants (including hard to detect and complex structural variants) using these technologies.

Richard Michelmore Receives the 2020-21 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award

The Academic Senate Committee on Public Service has recognized Richard Michelmore, director of the Genome Center and distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, for his outstanding contributions and commitment to public service with the 2020-21 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award.

In a year of great uncertainty, Michelmore demonstrated exceptional vision, leadership, and scholarly excellence by spearheading the development of methods for the universal testing of the SARS-Cov-2 viroid at the Genome Center on the UC Davis campus. 

Exactly How Does an mRNA Vaccine Work?

UC Davis Virologist Samuel L. Díaz-Muñoz, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, spoke with KCRA 3 in an interview late last year about the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines being hailed “as game-changers” by the medical community.

UC Davis and the Genome Center featured in the New York Times

The community-based approach for keeping Davis residents as well as university staff and students healthy was recently highlighted by the New York Times. In contrast to other universities, which have focused on testing only students and employees, UC Davis had a larger vision: to keep the whole community healthy.