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The Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis has a long, rich history. Since the 1930’s, this program has been serving the California strawberry growers and their need for new and improved berry cultivars.

In 2015, the breeding program gained new leadership with Dr. Steve Knapp. With any transition in management, there can be gaps in the breeding process and refilling the breeding pipeline is the number one focus of the UC program. To facilitate that, we have:

  • Completed an in-depth analysis of pedigrees and history to inform parent selection
  • Selected parents to build on historically successful pedigrees
  • Made numerous crosses for both short-day and day-neutral types
  • Sampled genetic diversity in the UC collection broadly
  • Developed families to identify heterotic patterns and leverage in future breeding efforts

In addition to the new crosses filling the breeding pipeline, the program is also trialling transitional selections from the previous breeding team. Those trials include yield, disease resistance and fruit quality  to inform future patent and release decisions.