Christine Diepenbrock is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. Her research group is focused on improving crop nutritional quality and abiotic stress tolerance in staple and specialty crops. Diepenbrock obtained her Ph.D. in Plant Breeding & Genetics from Cornell University and subsequently worked on the Predictive Agriculture team at Corteva AgriscienceTM before moving to UC Davis in 2019.
The Diepenbrock research group is focused on improving crop nutritional quality and tolerance to abiotic (non-living) stressors, namely drought and high temperatures. Dissection of the genetic basis of crop nutritional quality traits enables identification of clear genetic/genomic targets for crop improvement efforts. The integration of crop growth models (which typically operate on a daily time scale) and whole-genome prediction (WGP) enables capturing of the main and interaction effects of Genotype, Environment, and Management, while still performing at parity with WGP in the absence of extensive GxE(xM). In sum, we present methodologies for the routine and cost-effective integration of biochemical and physiological traits into genomics-assisted plant breeding efforts.