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Vegetable Crops and Weed Science
Veterinary Microbiology
Viticulture and Enology

Vegetable Crops and Weed Science
Spurred by the rapid expansion of California's vegetable industry, the Division of Olericulture was created at the University Farm in 1915, making it one of the oldest units on the campus. It was renamed the Division of Truck Crops in 1922 and the Department of Vegetable Crops in 1952. In its early years the faculty consisted of one assistant professor, who mainly trained students in the two-year program. Under H. A. Jones, appointed the first chair in 1924, new faculty members began teaching and research on aspects of physiology and production, genetics and plant breeding, and post-harvest physiology of vegetable crops. W. W. Robbins served as chair of both the Division of Botany and of Truck Crops from 1936 to 1940, when the units were separated. Robbins developed the weed research program and initiated the first courses on weed science taught in the United States. The Weed Science Program, formerly associated with botany, joined the vegetable crops department in 1994.

From 1940 through 1964, J. E. Knott served as chair, overseeing a dramatic increase in faculty numbers and student enrollments. The department moved from its wood-frame building south of the Quad to new quarters in Hunt Hall in 1949. After World War II the department again expanded, emphasizing teaching and research on seed physiology, plant development and growth regulation, soil and water management, nutrition, and post-harvest physiology.

In 1955 a section of the department was established at UC Riverside, with O. A. Lorenz as vice chair; this unit consolidated with the UCR Plant Science department in 1966. Research themes included crop and soil management, plant breeding and hormonal control mechanisms, and uses of plant growth regulators in vegetable production. O. A. Lorenz succeeded J. E. Knott as chair at Davis. In 1965 postharvest research and teaching were markedly enhanced by the completion of the Louis K. Mann Post-Harvest Laboratory. During the 1960s graduate student enrollment increased significantly, and both undergraduate and graduate programs received worldwide recognition.

J. N. Lyons, former chair at UC Riverside, assumed leadership of the Davis department in 1970. The mid-1970s through the mid-1980s brought a high point in undergraduate interest in the plant sciences, centering on ecology and the environment. The new plant science major spawned courses in vegetable genetics, breeding, and physiology. Many faculty members retired during this period. With leadership from Chair L. Rappaport (1978-1984), the department redefined its mission, and new faculty appointments reflected new goals. Emphasis was placed on discipline-oriented studies of nutrient acquisition by plants, genetics and applications of biotechnology for crop improvement, associated seed investigations, post-harvest biology, and marketing management. Research expanded on sustainability of vital soil and water resources while maintaining high crop productivity.

In 1991 the vegetable crops department moved into excellent facilities in Asmundson Hall, and the L. K. Mann Laboratory was renovated. The C. M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center, the Vegetable Research and Information Center, and the Seed Biotechnology Center were established in the 1990s. Research focused on genomics and transgenic manipulation to achieve disease resistance, enhance product quality, and characterize regulatory mechanisms. UC Cooperative Extension specialists cooperate closely with faculty in a relatively seamless relationship that not only extends information to the vegetable industry but stimulates continuing applied research of benefit to both industry and consumers. source

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Veterinary Microbiology
This department had its historical roots deep in the former Division of Bacteriology and Veterinary Sanitary Science established in 1901, since most of the diseases investigated by the division were of an infectious nature. It was during this time that Jacob Traum made his monumental contributions to our knowledge of tuberculosis, brucellosis, and the vesicular diseases, and W. H. Boynton demonstrated the natural history of anaplasmosis, pioneered in tissue culture, and developed a nonvirulent hog cholera vaccine. It was here that the intradermal test was perfected and proved effective for the identification of bovine tuberculosis, that the presence of skin lesions induced by other acid-fast organisms was found to result in tuberculin sensitivity, and that use of "Strain 19" vaccination was demonstrated as a worthy and feasible step in brucellosis control.

With the establishment of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1948, veterinary microbiology first became an informal departmental area under the unofficial chairmanship of Delbert G. McKercher. In 1956, he was succeeded by James R. Douglas, who also became the chairman when the department became official in 1960. John W. Osebold became chairman on July 1, 1965. In 1965, there were six academic staff members.

The department was broadly based, encompassing bacteriology, virology, parasitology, immunology, and immunogenetics. Instruction was given to undergraduate veterinary students and to graduate students in all of these areas. A number of graduate students were supported by a National Institutes of Health training grant.

This department continued to have a major research program and has contributed substantially to such diverse problems as the pathogenesis and chemotherapy of internal parasites, hemophilus infections of livestock listeriosis, pasteurellosis, anaplasmosis, myxornatosis of rabbits, and brucellosis; it contributed greatly to our knowledge of new diseases such as blue tongue in sheep, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine virus abortion, and epididymitis of rams. A major activity was research in immunology, including the study of blood groups in cattle, horses, poultry, and various wild species of animals. source

Following a restructuring of the School of Veterinary Medicine in the early 1970s, Veterinary Microbiology is now part of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. See also School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Viticulture and Enology
On April 15, 1880, the California Legislature enacted a mandate directing the Regents of the University of California to establish a program providing for instruction and research in all aspects of viticulture and enology. Leaders in business and state government realized that California had the potential to become one of the world's foremost wine- and grape- producing regions. They also recognized the ability of the University to turn potential into reality and the role of a premier research and educational institution as a critical ingredient in the recipe for economic success. Today, 120 years later, the California grape and wine industries are internationally renowned multibilliondollar enterprises, their success a testament to the partnership forged by state government between the university and the table grape, raisin, and wine industries throughout the world.

The current Department of Viticulture and Enology was established at the Davis campus in 1935, after the repeal of Prohibition. Departmental founders recognized that quality in the bottle is a result of quality in the vineyard and resolved to dispense with the tradition that historically separated the study of viticulture from that of enology. Today the department uniquely combines the sciences of viticulture and enology in a single research and teaching unit that encompasses all the disciplines that impact grape growing and winemaking. The faculty includes scientists from the fields of chemistry, genetics, microbiology, chemical engineering, horticulture, biochemistry, plant physiology, and sensory science. Multidisciplinary and strategic research and teaching programs cover all major aspects of viticulture and enology.

Research in the 1930s and 1940s was aimed at making grape growing and wine production economically viable for post-Prohibition agriculturists. Work focused on identifying the appropriate varieties and clones best suited to California growing conditions and on defining vineyard practices that would generate sufficient yield to render grape growing profitable. At the same time, the technology to assure the production of sound, defect-free wines was developed. These efforts allowed California vintners to produce commercially acceptable wines reproducibly year after year.

By the late 1960s research was aimed at expanding knowledge of the factors that influence grape and wine characters so that wine making processes could be tailored by individual winemakers to achieve the desired flavor and aroma profiles in the finished wine. This allowed the industry to move beyond mere commercial acceptability to the production of intricately crafted fine wines. Objective methods of sensory evaluation of wines were developed in the department and are now widely used throughout the food and beverage industries. Descriptive analysis of wines has now become a standard procedure for wine evaluation and has had the added benefit of making wines less intimidating for the consumer. Marketplace interest in wine has further increased due to recent research that has identified various components in wine that might have beneficial human health effects.

For over a century the University of California has maintained an active program in research and education in viticulture and enology. The continuing excellence of the department has enabled California to become a widely regarded premier wine-producing region. source

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