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Kent Bradford

Director, Seed Biotechnology Center, UC Davis

Expert Bio

Kent J. Bradford is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Originally from Texas, he earned his B.S. degree in Biochemistry and M.S. degree in Horticulture from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. degree in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian National University, he joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1982 and served as the Chair of the Department of Vegetable Crops from 1993 to 1998. In 1999 he founded the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center and continues to serve as its director. He received a Fulbright Scholar award in 1999 to teach in Argentina and the career Seed Science Award from the Crop Science Society of America in 2002. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003, and received the faculty Award of Distinction from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis in 2007. He was advanced to Distinguished Professor at UC Davis in 2013.

Dr. Bradford’s research has spanned diverse areas of seed science from seed germination and conservation to mathematical modeling and molecular biology. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed research and extension articles and book chapters, co-edited three books and co-authored a textbook on seed development, germination, dormancy and storage. His current interests are in the genetic, molecular and environmental mechanisms regulating seed germination, in seed deterioration and methods to extend seed longevity, and in mathematical models to describe seed germination and dormancy behavior. As Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, he supports the creation and commercialization of new technologies to improve crop performance, quality and sustainability and the continuing education plant breeders and seed industry professionals. He teaches University and Extension courses on plant physiology, seed biology, biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of science.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: Since pro and con GMO are all blaming scientists from the other side to be bought, why not creating a lab where a 50 50 funding would be applied for research? 50 bigbiotech 50 bigorganic. Or maybe 33 biotech, 33 organic, 33 government. Experimental protoc

Answered By Kent Bradford - Oct 23, 2015

A: This is an interesting question, and something like it has been done in the past. For example, California’s legislature created a program somewhat like this to promote such industry-university collaborations. “The UC Discovery Grant (UCDG) promotes collaborations between University of California researchers and industry partners in the interest of supporting cutting-edge research, strengthening the state’s economy, and serving the public good. UCDG research projects are jointly funded by a UC Discovery Grant and an industry sponsor matching contribution.” This pro [...]

How GMOs Are Made Modern Agriculture


Q: Who can create a gmo for me? I'm wanting certain matching genes to be added to a strain of watermelon and a strain of coconut. Who can do this for me?

Answered By Kent Bradford - Oct 09, 2017

A: While there might be some institutions with the capability to make these transgenic watermelon and coconut plants for you, that does not mean that you would be able to actually plant them out. First, the institution would need to have a Biological Use Authorization to work with recombinant DNA to make the vectors to transfer the genes. Then they would need to be able to do the tissue culture required to transfer the genes and regenerate whole plants again, which can sometimes be difficult. Then a number of these plants (between 20 and 100) might need to be grown to identify ones that have suc [...]

How GMOs Are Made