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Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
Plant Breeding Academy
University of California
Plant Breeding Academy

European PBA Begins

Plant Breeding Academy for Europe Begins at UC Davis

March 8, 2010. The first session of the European program for the Plant Breeding Academy began on the UC Davis campus today.  Created on the model of the highly successful Plant Breeding Academy, the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center established a program to serve plant breeding companies in Europe. The Plant Breeding Academysm based at UC Davis began with Class I in 2006 and Class II will graduate this June.  The European program will be held in five countries over 21 months.  Each of the course’s six sessions is six days in length.  The first session currently being held in Davis, California will be followed by sessions in Angers, France; Enkhuizen, The Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Gatersleben, Germany, and finish at UC Davis.  Academy partners in Europe include the European Seed Association, Vegepolys and French Seed Union in France, Seed Valley and Naktuinbouw in The Netherlands, the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics and the Spanish Plant Breeders Association in Spain; and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, the German Plant Breeders Association in Germany. The integrated program will lead participants through basic and practical experiences in each location in genetics, statistics, and plant breeding, enabling participants to become professional plant breeders.

The European Academy’s two lead instructors are Rale Gjuric, the president and managing director of Haplotech Inc. a plant breeding service company in Canada, and Idy van Leeuwen, the owner of Breedwise B.V. a professional training company for plant breeding in The Netherlands.  Dr. Gjuric is an accomplished commercial plant breeder with 35 canola varieties released in the past 15 years.  Ms. van Leeuwen is a well know member of the Dutch seed industry and has extensive experience organizing and teaching plant breeding to seed industry employees and university students over the last 17 years.

The 14 members of the inaugural class include:  Andreas Girke and Wilbert Luesink from Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Lembke (NPZ) in Germany, Bunterm Iamthian and Supat Mekiyanon from Chia Tai Co. in Thailand, Diego Ramos and Jose Maldonado from Monsanto in Spain, Guillermo Aqulla Tortosa and Marc Solsona from Semillas Fito in Spain, Dominique Rouan from Bayer CropSciences  in Belgium, Inga Kottmann from Deutsche Saatveredelung Ag in Germany, Liora Lifshitz from Zeraim Gedera Ltd. in Israel, Naama Barom Eliyahu from Hazera Genetics in Israel, Mathieu Sanvoisin from Syngenta in France, and Mika Isolahti from Boreal Plant Breeding Ltd. in Finland.

For more information on the Plant Breeding Academy, please contact Allen Van Deynze or Joy Patterson at or visit

The Seed Biotechnology Center was established at UC Davis in 1999 to mobilize the research, educational and outreach resources of the University of California in partnership with the seed and biotechnology industries, and to facilitate discovery and commercialization of new seed technologies for agricultural and consumer benefits.


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