Genetic Purity Lab Manager


Salinas, CA


Quality Assurance

JOB SUMMARY: Provides leadership for the Quality Assurance Genetic Purity Lab testing program to ensure accuracy and timeliness of results.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 for genotyping. Manages data and communicates information to appropriate Sakata departments on variety identification, hybrid purity and ploidy related issues and works with Director of QA to develop KPI’s relevant to the workflow. Investigates anomalous test results and updates the Director of QA about issues requiring upper management decisions. Collaborates with colleagues both domestically and internationally regarding testing protocols, marker development, new technology, data management, etc.



  • 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 Director and 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 LIMS ERP 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.
  • Provides data management and analysis for results and interfaces with Production and other departments, as requested.Conducts and/or participates in RCAs, as needed.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and bring in-house appropriate new technology platforms for molecular marker analysis to increase throughput.
  • Actively participate in the routine, hands-on application of molecular markers and isozymes, as needed.
  • Provides annual budget expense forecasts with monthly updates for expense tracking 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, biological chemistry, and statistics.
  • 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 or other high throughput genotyping 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, including weekends, when necessary and/or required.
  • Must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time.
  • This is a full-time, onsite position.



  • Salary: $90,000 – $95,000 per year
  • Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance coverage for employees and their families
  • Basic Life & AD&D Insurance
  • 401k program with company match
  • Profit Sharing program (via 401k)
  • Holiday & Performance Incentive Bonus program
  • Paid Vacation: 10 days per year to start, increases with tenure
  • Sick Leave: 1 hour accrued per 30 hours worked for first 30 days, 6.67 hours per month after.
  • 14 paid company holidays, 2 floating holidays & birthday off
  • Paid Family Leave: 15 days after 12 months of service for FMLA qualifying events
  • Company provided EAP
  • Company provided subsidy for health/fitness clubs & apps


*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.


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