Plant Breeding Information Resources

by Sheena Campbell – January 6, 2021

Use this guide to discover and use of information resources in plant breeding research.  Please feel free to contact Sheena with questions, or to schedule a research consultation or an instruction session for your class or lab group.

Sheena Campbell

Student Services Department
Student Services Librarian

In this Guide:

UC Davis provides access to three library catalogs from its home page:

UC Davis Library Catalog- For print and electronic resources at UC Davis
Melvyl Advanced -Shared catalog of all UC libraries (VPN required), access items through Interlibrary Loan
Libraries Worldwide (WorldCat) (VPN required)- Access items through Interlibrary Loan

Accessing Electronic Books

Links to a guide to finding electronic books within, and beyond, the UCD Library’s collection.

*Note: Access to electronic books is campus specific. Use the UC Davis library catalog, or E-book collections in the Databases list, to find and access books through the UC Davis Library.

UC Davis Library Catalog

Make your search more efficient by:

  • Selecting “Library Catalog Only” to exclude articles from the search (e.g. if you want to find books, not reviews of those books).
  • Start your search in Google Books to find terms within the full text, then return to the library catalog to access a copy (since you’ll only be able to view samples of copyrighted materials in GB).
  • Find books on plant breeding: Use the language of library catalogs and look for Subject Headings related to plant breeding  in this document (see page 358). You can also find subject terms next to your search results in the UCD Library catalog (see image below).
    • Hint: Books will be filed according to the main topics covered, so if you’re looking for works on wheat breeding, you may also want to use terms like cereals if you’re interested in broader works with a chapter on wheat.  Note that specialized works will only be filed under the narrowest Subject Heading available, so a search for the Subject Heading Plant Breeding will not contain works filed under the narrower term, Plant Hybridization.  Narrower Terms are identified with NT under each term in the document above.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian!

Find Dissertations and Theses

Library Home > Databases > Search for “Dissertation” > Proquest Dissertations & Theses 

This proprietary database helps you locate dissertations published since 1861 (theses began to be added later), which are usually only held at the institution where the degree was conferred.  Sometimes, hard copies are available for interlibrary loan. A digital copy of works published after 1997 is available for purchase (you can suggest the library acquire it for our collection), or for free if the home institution is a UC campus.

Agricultural Statistics Guide

Global agricultural statistics (FAOStat)

Agricultural production data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Example: Data > Producer Prices > [choose a crop, year, country]

International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS)

Composition data for foods.

Example: Tables and Databases > [choose a user guide to view contents]

US National Agricultural Statistics Service

The NASS Quick Stats Database is the most comprehensive tool for accessing agricultural data published by NASS. It allows you to customize your query by commodity, location, or time period.

Example: survey > crops > field crops > hops

Industry Groups

Industry groups often collect or repackage production and price data relevant to their membership. For example, the California Strawberry Commission releases various reports on the current and historical status of the strawberry market in the U.S., derived from both public and private data sources.

Find more resources in the Agricultural Statistics Research Guide

UC Davis Library Special Collections

Here is a list highlighting some archival collections relevant to the plant sciences.

Collections Related to Plant Breeding

Wild and domesticated species of plants and animals

University of California Genetic Resources Conservation Program records


Basil George David Bartley papers, 1856-2007, bulk 1957-1999

Musk Melons

Frank W. Zink papers

Oil crops

Paulden Knowles papers


Harold Paul Olmo papers.

Online Archive of California

The OAC is a website that provides free public access to detailed descriptions [and in some cases digital copies] of primary source collections (artwork, manuscripts, papers, historic photographs, and so on) maintained by more than 200 libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California — including collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.


ArchiveGrid provides descriptions of documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. The majority of the records are from US institutions, and were harvested from the most comprehensive shared library catalog available to us, WorldCat.

Ex. search for Plant Breeding

**The following lists are examples of each kind of source, and are by no means exhaustive.**

Genomic and Molecular Information

The Arabadopsis Information Resource (VPN connection required)

The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) maintains a database of genetic and molecular biology data for the model higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana . Data available from TAIR includes the complete genome sequence along with gene structure, gene product information, gene expression, DNA and seed stocks, genome maps, genetic and physical markers, publications, and information about the Arabidopsis research community. Gene product function data is updated every week from the latest published research literature and community data submissions. TAIR also provides extensive linkouts from data pages to other Arabidopsis resources.

Repbase (VPN connection required)

A database of representative repetitive sequences from eukaryotic species. According to its producer, Repbase is being used worldwide as the reference standard for annotating the presence of repetitive DNA in genomic data. Newly identified repetitive DNA elements reported in the monthly e-journal, Repbase Reports, are stored and shared in the Repbase database.

Descriptions, parentage, and trademark names of crops


Vegetable cultivars

Fruit and nut cultivars

Published descriptions

Search within “Register of New Fruit and Nut Cultivars” in the journal Hortscience. > Journals A-Z > Hortscience > Search Within Journal

Government and international sources of germplasm and descriptions

Genetic Resources Information Network (USDA)


Crop Wild Relatives

ICARDA: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas


Find other entities with Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Germplasm Repositories at UC Davis

C.M. Rick Tomato Genetic Resources Center

Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

Community Sources

Seed Savers Exchange

Tatiana’s Tomato Base

Literature on Genebanks

Search library catalogs for subject headers like these: