Foundation Seed Production

Our purpose is to assure availability of pure, weed free, and high quality seed of CCRRF rice varieties for the benefit of the California rice industry..

RES Rice Varieties

Program Overview

The production and maintenance of foundation seed of CCRRF rice varieties is an important RES activity. The foundation seed program is a cooperative program between CCRRF and the California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) at UCD. Its purpose is to assure availability of pure, weed free, and high quality seed of CCRRF rice varieties for the benefit of the California rice industry. The RES Rice Breeding Program has developed 54 improved rice varieties in 10 different market types since the accelerated research program began in 1969. Although the RES foundation seed program is self-sustaining and not supported with CRRB or UC funds, the cooperation of CCRRF-CCIA-UC Cooperative Extension makes the program possible and has resulted in the wide spread use of certified seed by the California rice growers. Foundation seed of RES rice varieties were produced on around 140 acres at RES. California rice growers interested in producing certified rice seed should contact the California Crop Improvement Association for more information.

Rice Varieties Under Foundation Seed Production

† Plant Variety Protection Certificate (PVPC), Title IV Option, or PVPC applied for that specifies variety can be sold only by name as a class of certified seed in the United States of America.

†† Utility patent issued, pending, and PVP.

The foundation seed program at RES provides an adequate supply of pure, high quality seed of CCRRF rice varieties for California rice seed growers. Foundation Seed allocations are performed by CCIA. Foundation Seed of CCRRF rice varieties has not and will not be provided to anyone for seed increase purposes except California rice growers through the foundation seed program. In 1988 the CCRRF Board of Directors adopted a new policy to protect new rice varieties under the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act, Title V of the National Seed Act. CCRRF is the sole owner of the rice varieties. Export of seed of protected rice varieties is prohibited unless written authorization is granted by CCRRF. Seed of protected varieties may be sold only as a class of certified seed produced in California unless written permission is granted by CCRRF because of certified seed shortages, in which case grade (common) seed sales may be permitted. No royalties are assessed on seed rice of our varieties.

In 2000, CCRRF began seeking protection for new rice varieties in the form of US Utility Patents. This decision, was made in response got growth in the biotechnology sector and the use of CCRRF rice varieties in private genetic engineering/breeding programs. Use of these varieties for research purposes requires a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) from CCRRF.

In November of 2017, in response to growing contamination with weedy red rice and non-compliance with existing seed laws, the CCRRF Board of Directors amended the policy on the use and planting of seed of CCRRF rice varieties as follows:

  • Only classes of certified seed of CCRRF rice varieties may be planted.
  • All restrictions associated with US Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP) must be followed (e.g. varieties to be sold as a class of certified seed only). Possible violations will be referred to the California Department of Food and  Agriculture (CDFA) for investigation.
  • Foundation Seed of CCRRF rice varieties will only be allocated through the California Crop Improvement Association to California rice growers who have been approved to produce certified classes of rice seed.
  • In accordance with state seed law, sellers of rice seed must also be registered with CDFA.
  • Foundation Seed cannot be resold or transferred without written permission from CCRRF.
  • Purchasers of Foundation Seed are now required to sign the Material Transfer Agreement for patented rice varieties. All of their customers must be notified of the restrictions on the use of seed of CCRRF varieties.

CCRRF initiated a voluntary and aggressive testing program of foundation seed for the presence of the Liberty Link Trait that was discovered at trace levels in Southern US long-grain rice in 2006. This included GIPSA approved third party PCR testing for the LLRice601 event, any Liberty Link trait (35S::bar), and sampling and testing by USDA-APHIS. Results involving a total of 98 pooled PCR tests were non-detect on all samples. CCRRF foundation and basic seed samples have been tested annually as required by the California Rice Commission have all been non-detect.

Resources for purchasing certified seed of CCRRF rice varieties.

Rice Variety Trials by CA Locations


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  • Ashley Averitt

    Maintenance and Operator

    Ashley is a maintenance and operator of California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Deven Benson

    Maintenance and Operator

    Deven is a maintenance and operator of California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Randy Jones

    Field Supervisor

    Randy is the field supervisor of California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Joe Martin

    Plant Breeder Assistant

    Joe is a plant breeder assistant for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF). His primary focus at CCRRF is to assist in the short grain breeding program. He received his BS in Plant Biology from the University of California Davis. He is currently enrolled in the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis to help further his knowledge in plant breeding.

  • Gabriel Janish

    Plant Breeder Assistant

    Gabriel is a plant breeder assistant for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Davinder Singh

    Plant Breeder Assistant

    Davinder is a plant breeder assistant for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF). His primary focus at CCRRF is to assist in the long grain breeding program.

  • Ravinder Gakhal

    Senior Plant Breeder Assistant

    Ravinder is a senior plant breeder assistant for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF). His primary focus at CCRRF is to assist in the medium grain breeding program.

  • Baldish Deol

    Senior Plant Breeder Assistant

    Baldish is a senior plant breeder assistant for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • George Yeltatzie

    Genetics Lab Technician

    George is the genetics lab technician for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Frank Maulana, Ph.D.

    Short Grain Breeder

    Dr. Frank Maulana is a rice breeder for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF). He is leading a short grain breeding program to develop improved short grain rice varieties for five market classes, including conventional or regular, low amylose, sweet or waxy, premium quality and arborio or bold grain. The objectives of the program include developing rice varieties with high and stable yield, high milling grain yield, seedling vigor, cold tolerance, lodging resistance, and disease resistance. He received a BS in Crop Science from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi. Then, he worked as a plant breeder at the Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) for five years. He then went on to obtain PhD and MS in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan, KS. Before joining CCRRF, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter-Rice Breeding program. His research project at LSU focused on implementation of genomic selection in an applied rice breeding program.

  • Gretchen Zaunbrecher, Ph.D.

    Genetics Lab Director

    Dr. Zaunbrecher is the Genetics Lab Director for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF).  The Genetics Lab utilizes marker assisted analysis to provide valuable genetic information to assist the breeders in rice varietal improvement.  In addition, through traditional mutational breeding as well as gene editing, we hope to develop new varieties of rice with enhanced yield, herbicide, and disease resistance, and other agronomically valuable traits.

  • Nirmal Sharma, Ph.D.

    Long Grain Breeder

    Dr. Nirmal Sharma is a plant breeder for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF), leading the long grain breeding project and incorporating disease resistance, high milling yield, seedling vigor, cold tolerance, and herbicide resistance into future rice varieties. He received his BS in Agriculture and MS in Biotechnology from Bangladesh Agricultural University. Then, he worked as a breeder in the Plant Breeding Division of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) for several years. Next, he moved to the United States to pursue his PhD in crop sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Upon completing his degree, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Noble Research Institute before joining CCRRF.

  • Teresa B. De Leon, Ph.D.

    Medium Grain Breeder

    Dr. Teresa B. De Leon is currently leading the improvement and variety development of CCRRF medium grain project. She previously led the short grain breeding project from 2018-2021. Prior to her employment at the station, she worked as Plant Geneticist to University of California Davis for identification, origin, and prevention of weedy red rice. She developed pre-breeding and introgression lines of Louisiana rice with improved salinity tolerance for Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. As Assistant Scientist and Research Scholar, she has also worked at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and University of the Philippines at Los Banos on disease resistance of rice and other crops. With several years of experience in rice research and development, Dr. De Leon is integrating the use of conventional and molecular tools in breeding for medium grains with high yield potential, high grain quality, wide adaptation, cold tolerance, disease and herbicide resistance, and most importantly, a rice with excellent cooking and taste quality for consumers.

  • Emily Schaaf

    Executive Assistant

    Emily is the executive assistant of California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.

  • Dustin Harrell, Ph.D.

    Director

    Dr. Dustin Harrell has been the Director of the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation Rice Experiment Station since November of 2021. Prior to his current leadership position, he held positions as the Resident Coordinator of the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station, the Extension Rice Specialist for the state of Louisiana, and the project leader for the Rice Fertility and Agronomy Project at the LSU Rice Experiment Station.