Facts about UC Davis’ strawberry breeding program

The California Strawberry Commission filed a lawsuit against UC Davis in October 2013 regarding its acclaimed strawberry breeding program. The commission expressed concern that the university was planning to end its breeding program.

In April 2014, following months of meetings with the strawberry commission, the university filed a motion with the Alameda County Superior Court, asking that the lawsuit be dismissed as meritless.

The university has assured the commission and other stakeholders that it is continuing the public breeding program, maintaining duplicate copies of each plant in the breeding program and recruiting for a new breeder with advanced genomic skills to join the program.

During six decades, the program has developed more than 30 patented varieties, made strawberries a year-round crop in California, and boosted strawberry yield from just six tons per acre in the 1950s to 30 tons per acre today.

In May 2014, at the request of California Assemblyman Luis Alejo of the 30th Assembly District, both the university and the strawberry commission agreed to enter formal mediation to resolve issues related to the future of the UC Davis strawberry breeding program. One mediation meeting was held in June, presided over by retired judge William Cahill, and a second meeting is scheduled for August.

For more details on the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program please read our frequently asked questions.

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