From science to solutions, research that makes a difference
UC Davis Chile performs collaborative research in order to provide technological solutions. These may be determined by the industry, that is, they are “industry-driven”, or by strategic issues of national or international interest.
Although UC Davis Chile´s focuses of research and development are the agri-food and environmental areas, Davis´s campus covers all areas of knowledge, from medicine to aquaculture, through engineering and human ecology.
UC Davis Chile has laboratories in their offices in Providencia and in addition has access to the facilities of national and international partner institutions.
Some platforms in which UC Davis Chile is working on issues of research and development are:
Genetics and Genomics
The technologies of massive DNA sequencing are being used to respond to a series of needs for characterization and identification of genes and organisms with industrial potential. UC Davis Chile, together with its partner institutions, has generated abilities and technologies which respond to a new perspective of the development of industrial processes and products.
As follows some initiatives being performed by UC Davis Chile:
System for the detection and molecular diagnosis of pathogens of wood diseases in Vitis vinifera.
Identification of the causal agent of foliar damage in Araucaria araucana
Genetic identification of clones of Cabernet sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir
Viticulture and Enology
The wine industry is a highly relevant agricultural sector for California and Chile which continues to grow both in volume and production of premium wines. The quality and price of the wines are determined by a complex interaction between the genetics of the vine, soil conditions, climate, maturity, fermentation and aging. There are opportunities for science-based interventions at each stage of the wine production process in order to improve the final product and its economic value. Since Chile and California have similar conditions both in climate – the same grape varieties can be grown in both territories – as in production, they have the possibility to share information and research results.
UC Davis´s Viticulture and Enology is one of the founding departments of this university and is known for its technological contribution to California’s wine industry. The “Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building”, leads research in sustainable winemaking processes, such as carbon dioxide capture, water capture and reuse, as well as the use of alternative energy sources.
Some initiatives of this R+D platform are:
Determination of risk factors which prevent the successful fermentation of rainfed wines Pais cultivar.
The bioproduct’s objective is to replace or complement the chemical products which have been used in agriculture for decades. Chile, due to the enormous variety of its ecological systems from the most ancient desert in the world to the Antarctic, may have countless microorganisms –especially bacteria and fungi – which may help plants and crops to protect themselves against insects or pathogens (biocontrollers), to stimulate their growth (biostimulants) or to facilitate directly or indirectly the availability of nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous and water (biofertilizers).
In this platform UC Davis Chile is carrying out:
Development of agricultural bioproducts with microbial resources from the valleys of the Region of Arica and Parinacota
Characterization of composting processes
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Two of the great challenges of the agri-food sector are to generate more sustainable systems – an issue which has becoming increasingly evident in the face of climate change – as well as productive systems, considering that according to figures of the United Nations, every year the world population increases by 83 million inhabitants. Therefore, UC Davis Chile is working on initiatives linked with Smart Agro and on solutions or adaptations to climate change.
Some initiatives of UC Davis Chile´s R+D platform are:
Integrated control model of broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa) in industrial tomato crop
Implementation of a hydrological model of watershed water balances
Research and Development Coordinator