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Breeding Crops for Enhanced Food Safety

Gregory Wlasiuk – June 7, 2019

Dr. Maeli Melotto presenting on the genetic components associated with human pathogenic colonization of lettuce

Dr. Maeli Melotto presenting on the genetic components associated with human pathogenic colonization of lettuce.

June 5 kicked off a two-day conference where experts in various fields from plant science to microbiology detailed the research being done in eradicating the occurrence of human pathogens in crop production through breeding. The first of its kind, this conference underlined multidisciplinary efforts and emerging strategies in food safety and plant breeding.

Organized by WIFSS own Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, as well as Dr. Maeli Melotto from the Department of Plant Sciences, and the associate director of the Plant Breeding Center, Dr. Allen Van Deynze, the conference featured an array of presentations while also challenging participants to discuss and present on the new opportunities offered by this emerging field. The presentations focused on topics such as applying host plant resistance to maize, the genetic components associated with human pathogenic colonization of lettuce, and the food safety risks in crop production systems.

Participants discussing lectures in a breakout session.

Participants discussing lectures in a breakout session.

As the leaders in agriculture research and One Health methodologies, the featured UC Davis faculty brought a wide range of experiences including regulatory, industry, and extension perspectives on crop safety. The participant breakout sessions and following presentations are planned to culminate in a whitepaper that will guide future research and funding for this promising new field of study.

 

 

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