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Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the country where the position is located.
Genetic Purity Lab Manager

Location: Salinas, California, USA

ABOUT SAKATA: Our mission is to quickly and efficiently meet industry expectations for quality seed, strong performance and excellent yields, as well as retail and consumer demand for delicious fruit and vegetables. Sakata Seed America was established in 1977 as a research, production and sales division of Sakata Seed Corporation. Our mission is to quickly and efficiently meet industry expectations for quality seed, strong performance and excellent yields, as well as retail and consumer demand for delicious fruit and vegetables. Sakata Seed America is headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA. Our research facilities include stations in Salinas, California; Yuma, Arizona; Burlington, Washington; Woodland, California; and Fort Myers, Florida. These facilities focus on vegetable breeding and trialing. Today, we continue to challenge ourselves to be the industry leader for innovation, quality, reliability and service.

JOB TITLE: Genetic Purity Lab Manager

DEPARTMENT: Quality Assurance


JOB SUMMARY: Provides leadership for the Quality Assurance Genetic Purity Lab testing program.  Manages the lab staff performing variety identification, hybrid purity and ploidy tests and participates in running routine tests and research projects.  Drives the development, coordination, and research of new and improved tests for commercial products and breeding material using lab methods such as isozymes and DNA-based markers.  Communicates data and information to appropriate Sakata departments on variety identification, hybrid purity and ploidy related issues.  Investigates anomalous test results and updates the Associate Director of QA about issues requiring upper management decisions.


  • Manages the Genetic Purity Lab testing program, including the research, development, and implementation of new genetic purity tests for Quality Assurance, including outsourced testing. 
  • Supervises technical and non-technical support staff in the Genetic Purity Lab program and oversees the operation and maintenance of the lab.  Provides staff with technical and on-the-job safety training, work prioritization, approves time sheets and absences, conducts performance appraisals, and the like.
  • Responsible for monitoring new variety research needs and working with the breeder or Stockseed Manager to obtain inbreds and hybrids as necessary.
  • Develop, implement, and improve procedures for genetic purity, ploidy, and variety ID testing, including regular updates of lab procedures and protocols.  Recommends and implements new technology platforms for testing, as required.
  • Investigates unusual or unexpected genetic purity lab findings.  Works with the Coordinator to resolve such findings and communicates information to the appropriate Sakata departments.
  • Conducts special projects with the Production, Sales, Research, Quality Assurance departments, as well as global subsidiaries, as requested.
  • Possesses thorough knowledge of the SAH DAX LIMS module and its interface with inventory records.  Interacts with IT Department personnel to develop tools for collecting, reporting, and managing results.
  • Develop the application of new markers, including primer design and outsourced sequencing as needed, and initial evaluation of SAI germplasm for the purposes of genetic purity testing.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and bring in-house appropriate new technology platforms for molecular marker analysis.
  • Actively participate in the routine, hands-on application of molecular markers and isozymes, as needed.
  • Provides annual budget expense forecasts and manages current laboratory expenses, as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Must have the ability and skills needed to manage an effective genetic purity lab research and service-testing program.
  • Must have the ability to work in a laboratory environment.
  • Must be able to operate and understand the uses of laboratory equipment dealing with isozyme electrophoresis, DNA marker testing, and ploidy testing.
  • Must be able to use a computer as necessary to meet job demands.
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Must have excellent manual dexterity, spatial perception, visual discrimination and mathematical aptitude. Must also have excellent problem solving, writing and analytical ability.
  • Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload.
  • Must be able to work under strict time constraints and requirements.
  • Strong character traits required including emotional stability, adaptability, ability to handle stress, cultural and gender sensitivity, and honesty.
  • Must be able to interface effectively with employees, management, and vendors.


  • MS Degree or PhD in Agricultural, Biological, or Molecular Sciences (or closely related field) plus relevant managerial experience.


  • At least eight years of experience in scientific research and laboratory operations, with knowledge of seed and plant physiology and biological chemistry.
  • Must have experience and demonstrated ability in operating and managing a genetic purity program using a variety of applications including isozyme electrophoresis, DNA markers, ploidy testing, and similar chemistries.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to effectively lead a team and supervise technical and non-technical support staff.
  • Experience with the Fluidigm platform is highly desired.


  • Must be able to work with laboratory chemicals, pesticides and other possible irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary and/or required (protective gloves 60% of the time, lab coat 60 % of the time, respirator 10% of the time).
  • Must be able to work long and irregular hours when necessary and/or required.
  • Must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time.

*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.                                                                                                                


Send all applications to HR@Sakata.com


More positions from: Sakata Seed America. Inc.

Posted from May 3, 2021 until November 3, 2021
SeedQuest reference number: 127883

Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the country where the position is located.

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