UC Davis discoveries in
food, wine and agriculture

As the world’s population grows, agricultural innovations are necessary to feed everyone. Our discoveries have made it possible to harvest more tomatoes, create heartier rice, and breed bees that help our world.

A woodcut illustration of grapes

Blazing the way for

Professor Harold Olmo developed 30 grape varieties, and his study of the chardonnay grape led to its economic viability. Chardonnay is now California’s most important wine grape variety, cultivated on nearly 100,000 acres throughout the state.

White wine bottle and half full glass with a paint splotch in the background

Remaking tomatoes for
robotic harvesters

UC Davis plant breeder Jack Hanna and engineer Coby Lorenzen teamed up in the 1950s to invent a machine that could mechanically harvest tomatoes and develop a tomato that would be tough enough to survive a harvester.

Three fresh tomatoes with a paint splotch in the background

Hacking rice
to be healthier and hardier

In the 1990s, Gurdev Khush, UC Davis professor emeritus and World Food Prize winner, characterized a wild species of rice that is resistant to a serious disease-causing microbe.

A rice bowl filled with white rice and vegetable morsels

better bees

Honeybees, especially crucial for their pollination services, are vital to agriculture and the environment, but bee breeding was largely a matter of chance until Professor Harry H. Laidlaw Jr., (1907-2003) the father of honeybee genetics, developed artificial insemination technology.

A profile of a flying bee

More from UC Davis