Skip to content

Allen Van Deynze

Plant Sciences

Dr. Allen Van Deynze is the Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center and Associate Director of the Plant Breeding Center at University of California, Davis. He has a Ph.D in plant breeding from University of Guelph, Canada. As part of the SBC’s mission to serve as a liaison between public institutions and seed industry, Allen is responsible for developing, coordinating and conducting research and generating and disseminating scientific and informational content for the Seed Biotechnology Center’s and Plant Breeding Center’s educational and outreach programs. His research focuses on developing and integrating genomics into plant breeding of California and African crops. He has programs on breeding for disease resistance and quality in pepper and spinach, and development and application of genomics in crops. With Dr. Kent Bradford he co-developed and is organizer for the Plant Breeding Academysm and past chair of the US Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee.  He has been involved in International and National policy including US Regulations for Biotechnology. He is an instructor for the African Plant Breeding Academy and Scientific Director for the African Orphan Crops


2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary’s Honor Award-Team award with Solanaceae, Barley and Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Projects.

2012 American Society of Horticulture, best publication with broad impact.

2014 National Association of Plant Breeders Service Award.

2015 Illumina Greater Good Award
2016 National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders Public Breeder Award

2018 International Pepper Conference Lifetime Achievement Award

2019 UC Davis Excellence in Research award

Relevant References

Melotto, M., M. Brandl, C. Jacob, M. Jay-Russell, S. Micallef, M. Warburton and A.E. Van Deynze. 2020. Breeding Crops for Enhanced Food Safety. Front. Plant Sci. in press. doi:10.3389/fpls.2020.00428.

Jamnadass, R., R.H. Mumm, I. Hale, P. Hendre, A. Muchugi, I.K. Dawson, W. Powell, L. Graudal, H. Yana-Shapiro, A.J. Simons and A. Van Deynze. 2020. Enhancing African orphan crops with genomics. Nature Genetics. doi:10.1038/s41588-020-0601-x.

Hendre PS, Muthemba S, Kariba R, Muchugi A, Fu Y, Chang Y, Song B, Liu H, Liu M, Liao X, Sahu SK, Wang S, Li L, Lu H, Peng S, Cheng S, Xu X, Yang H, Wang J, Liu X, Simons A, Shapiro HY, Mumm RH, Van Deynze A, Jamnadass R: African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC): status of developing genomic resources for African orphan crops. Planta 2019, 250(3):989-1003,

Sogbohossou, E.O.D., D. Kortekaas, E.G. Achigan-Dako, P. Maundu, T. Stoilova, A. Van Deynze, R.C.H. de Vos, and M.E. Schranz. 2019. Association between vitamin content, plant morphology and geographical origin in a worldwide collection of the orphan crop Gynandropsis gynandra (Cleomaceae). Planta.

Chang, Y., H. Liu, M. Liu, X. Liao, S.K. Sahu, Y. Fu, B. Song, S. Cheng, R. Kariba, S. Muthemba, P.S. Hendre, S. Mayes, W.K. Ho, A.E.J. Yssel, P. Kendabie, S. Wang, L. Li, A. Muchugi, R. Jamnadass, H. Lu, S. Peng, A. Van Deynze, A. Simons, H. Yana-Shapiro, Y. Van de Peer, X. Xu, H. Yang, J. Wang, and X. Liu. 2018. The draft genomes of five agriculturally important African orphan crops. GigaScience 8.

Van Deynze A, Zamora P, Delaux P-M, Heitmann C, Jayaraman D, Rajasekar S, Graham D, Maeda J, Gibson D, Schwartz KD, Berry AM, Bhatnagar S, Jospin G, Darling A, Jeannotte R, Lopez J, Weimer BC, Eisen JA, Shapiro H-Y, Ané J-M, Bennett AB: Nitrogen fixation in a landrace of maize is supported by a mucilage-associated diazotrophic microbiota. PLoS biology 2018, 16(8):e2006352