Phytelligence Sells Out Entire Capacity for Spring 2017 Orders

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Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the closing of their Spring 2017 booking season, turning away over 1 million in unfulfilled plant requests due to selling out their entire plant capacity. Despite expanding their volume 10 times over from 2015 to 2016, Phytelligence sold out of their available plant stock for the Spring 2017 season. The company is rapidly increasing capacity to support growers and remedy the severe shortage of quality rootstock in the industry. Phytelligence is already booking orders for Spring 2018 and expects a short selling window as growers scramble for viable plants.

 

Founder and Chief Science Officer Amit Dhingra said, “I founded Phytelligence in 2012 to solve growers problems, including the scarcity of good quality plant materials and rootstock. We will continue to grow at a rapid pace until we have serviced our grower customers’ needs.”

 

Phytelligence began the year strong by establishing their Seattle headquarters, starting the Portland tissue culture lab, and pivoting the Pullman location to focus on discovery and genetics. In just 5 months, sales for Phytelligence are already four times what was achieved the entire year in 2015.

 

Selling for the Spring 2018 season is underway as Phytelligence looks to take advantage of their new increased plant capacity. Customers looking for rootstock should plan to book soon before Spring 2018 is sold out.

 

Phytelligence currently offers virus clean, genetically true to type, healthy plants in the following crops:

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Cherry
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Grape
  • Almond
  • Hops

The company encourages growers to contact Tim O’Brien at 206-719-5317 or timobrien@phytelligence.com for more information on available plants.

 

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling 100 percent guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. In addition, Phytelligence has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.

 

Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Pullman, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

 

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Contact:

Ashley Ennis

Director of Marketing and PR for Phytelligence

ashleyennis@phytelligence.com

(206) 300-9891

 

 

 

 

Phytelligence Ramps Up Portland Tissue Culture Lab, Pullman Lab to Focus on Genetics, Repository and Discovery Activities

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Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the transfer of all tissue culture activity from their Pullman location to their newly-opened Portland lab.

Due to faster than anticipated throughput and lower costs at the Portland facility, the decision was made to invest in growing the Portland location sooner than originally anticipated, and change the focus of the Pullman lab exclusively to genetic analysis, repository services, and research for the discovery of new products and technology. As part of the expansion of the Portland lab, many of the Pullman lab employees will have the option to transfer to the Portland location as jobs become available.

In April, Phytelligence moved into the 12,000-square foot PacTrust facility adjacent to the Oregon Business Park. Since that time, production has been increasing to meet skyrocketing demand and solve the rootstock bottleneck issue plaguing the food crop industry. Phytelligence has expanded rapidly since solidifying their skilled agricultural executive team, establishing their Seattle headquarters and greenhouse space, and opening the aforementioned Portland lab. Their current potential plant capacity exceeds 29 million plants per year.

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling 100 percent guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. In addition, Phytelligence has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.

 

Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Pullman, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

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Contact:

Ashley Ennis

Director of Marketing and PR for Phytelligence

ashleyennis@phytelligence.com

(206) 300-9891

Biotechnology Company Partners with Grower to Develop New Cherry Varieties

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By David Eddy – Growing Produce

Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company, has entered into a service agreement with TNV, LLC, a Tip Top Orchards licensed company, to aid in the development and growth of new and desirable cherry varieties.

They will be utilizing Phytelligence’s genetic analysis capabilities, its genetic repository services, and its proprietary plant multiplication and growth processes.

TNV, based in Wenatchee, WA, and Phytelligence, based in Seattle, hope to co-develop new natural cherry varieties faster than the traditional process with the Phytelligence proprietary plant multiplication process and TNV’s industry knowledge and connections. Phytelligence’s genetic analysis capabilities will also be used to file patent applications and protect TNV’s new varieties.

“Their deep understanding of plant genetics in general, and cherries in particular, coupled with their rapid propagation process makes Phytelligence an obvious choice,” said Troy Toftness, partner at TNV. “The company’s genetic technology will help us make better breeding selections when discovering, patenting, and producing novel cherry varieties. Using their propagation techniques, we’ll be able to get large quantities of the newly commercialized varieties to market faster.”

TNV is licensed by Tip Top Orchards, who discovered the ‘Tip Top’ cherry and developed the Skylar Rae brand, named for the beloved late daughter of Troy and Kim Toftness. In 2005, shortly after Skylar Rae’s passing, the family discovered a tree bearing a different looking cherry in their orchard.

The fruit it produced had unique genetics, as confirmed by Phytelligence, and was unlike anything anyone had ever tasted before. They named the variety the ‘Tip Top’ cultivar after the orchard and began selling high quality cherries under the Skylar Rae brand to honor their daughter’s name and carry on her legacy.

‘Tip Top’ trees are licensed for production to C & O Nursery in Wenatchee, and worldwide licensing rights are held by SNV, LLC. Phytelligence has pledged to donate a portion of its revenue generated through the partnership to the Skylar Rae Fund set up to help children and families. Donations have been made to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“Phytelligence was created to help food crop growers, like the Toftness family, develop new varieties using our genetics skills and proprietary tissue culture techniques to produce stronger, healthier plants faster than ever before,” said Ken Hunt, Phytelligence CEO. “Our number one goal with this partnership is to collaborate with TNV and develop the best new cherries in the industry that we can then quickly get in the hands of customers.”

 

Phytelligence Partners with Tip Top Orchards-Licensed TNV to Produce Novel Cherry Varieties

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Company collaborates with Phytelligence to leverage collective skills and create desirable, high value, sweet cherry varieties

 

SEATTLE, Wash. – April 12, 2016 Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, has entered into a service agreement with TNV, LLC, a Tip Top Orchards licensed company, to aid in the development and growth of new and desirable cherry varieties utilizing Phytelligence’s genetic analysis capabilities, it’s genetic repository services, and its proprietary plant multiplication and growth processes.

 

TNV, based in Wenatchee, Washington and Phytelligence, based in Seattle, Washington, will co-develop new natural cherry varieties, utilizing Phytelligence’s genetics skills to make breeding selections and identify new, better types of cherries for the orchard industry and consumers. The team anticipates that new more appealing cherry varieties will be developed and available to consumers faster than the traditional process with the Phytelligence proprietary plant multiplication process and TNV’s industry knowledge and connections. Phytelligence’s genetic analysis capabilities will also be used to file patent applications and protect TNV’s new varieties.

 

“Their deep understanding of plant genetics in general, and cherries in particular, coupled with their rapid propagation process makes Phytelligence an obvious choice,” said Troy Toftness, partner at TNV. “The company’s genetic technology will help us make better breeding selections when discovering, patenting, and producing novel cherry varieties. Using their propagation techniques, we’ll be able to get large quantities of the newly commercialized varieties to market faster.”

 

TNV is licensed by Tip Top Orchards, who discovered the ‘Tip Top’ cv. cherry and developed the Skylar Rae® brand, named for the beloved late daughter of Troy and Kim Toftness. In 2005, shortly after Skylar Rae’s passing, the family discovered a tree bearing a different looking cherry in their orchard. The fruit it produced had unique genetics, as confirmed by Phytelligence, and was unlike anything anyone had ever tasted before. They named the variety the ‘Tip Top’ cultivar after the orchard and began selling high quality cherries under the Skylar Rae® brand to honor their daughter’s name and carry on her legacy. ‘Tip Top’ cv. trees are licensed for production to C & O Nursery in Wenatchee, WA and worldwide licensing rights are held by SNV, LLC. Phytelligence has pledged to donate a portion of its revenue generated through the partnership to the Skylar Rae® Fund set up to help children and families. Donations have been made to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

 

“Phytelligence was created to help food crop growers, like the Toftness family, develop new varieties using our genetics skills and proprietary tissue culture techniques to produce stronger, healthier plants faster than ever before,” stated Ken Hunt, Phytelligence CEO. “Our number one goal with this partnership is to collaborate with TNV and develop the best new cherries in the industry that we can then quickly get in the hands of customers.”

 

About TNV

TNV, LLC is a Wenatchee-based organization owned by Troy and Kim Toftness and licensed by Tip Top Orchards, LLC. Founded in 2001, Tip Top Orchards is best known for their discovery of the ‘Tip Top’ cultivar, which produces a bi-colored cherry with above-average firmness and high sugars. High quality ‘Tip Top’ cv. cherries are sold under the Skylar Rae® brand. Troy and Kim operate Tip Top Orchards, with their parents, Robert and Nancy Van Hoven and Jack and June Toftness.

 

About C&O Orchards

C & O Nursery Co. is headquartered in Wenatchee, WA and has been in existence since 1906. The Snyder family now has 4th generation members in key placement in the organization to augment the 3rd generation also actively involved in all aspects. C & O Nursery is the exclusive nursery assigned the rights to propagate the ‘Tip Top’ cultivar trees under the Skylar Rae® brand.

 

About SNV

SNV, LLC is an Intellectual Property company that handles several variety IPs. SNV, LLC is very proud to be the company representing the worldwide rights of the ‘Tip Top’ cultivar trees under the Skylar Rae® brand.

 

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Phytelligence utilizes its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops that enable higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food growers through the application of advanced genetics enabling delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of foods. Phytelligence also has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.

Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University. Phytelligence is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Pullman, Washington and Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit www.phytelligence.com.

 

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Contact:

Ashley Ennis

Director of Marketing and PR for Phytelligence

ashleyennis@phytelligence.com

(206) 300-9891

 

 

 

Ken Hunt Named as Phytelligence CEO

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Seattle Business Magazine – http://www.seattlebusinessmag.com/ken-hunt

Ken Hunt was recently named CEO of Phytelligence, an agricultural biotech company based in Seattle with offices in Pullman, WA and Portland, Oregon. Hunt is the former CEO of ag biotechnology company Anawah, a TILLING® technology company which sold to Arcadia BioSciences, Inc. which subsequently went public in May 2015 and was Executive Vice President at Paradigm Genetics and member of the key executive team, later acquired by Monsanto. Phytelligence, a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. www.phytelligence.com

Tech Moves: New CEOs at Phytelligence

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By Madeline Vuong | Geekwire

Phytelligence, a Seattle-based agricultural biotechnology company has announced the hiring of Ken Hunt as CEO, Tyler Spurgeon as COO, and Tim O’Brien as CRO. The company is growing its team in an effort to aggressively scale the organization and to increase its plant engineering production.

Ken Hunt is the former CEO of agricultural biotechnology company Anawah, which sold to Arcadia BioSciences — a company that subsequently went public in May 2015. Before that, he was the executive VP at Paradigm Genetics, later acquired by Monsanto.

New COO Tyler Spurgeon was a research site leader and senior biologist at Dow AgroSciences before joining Phytelligence. He oversaw site operations of a 15-acre research facility and its greenhouses. Before that, he worked at the Exelixis Plant Sciences research greenhouse facility.

Tim O’Brien was executive vice president for a direct marketing agency called Cesari Direct, prior to joining Phytelligence. During his 9 years there, he grew billing over 400 percent. Prior to that, he was the CMO and senior expedition leader at Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.

“The decision to join Phytelligence was an easy one given the companies’ proprietary solutions to meet severely unmet needs of growers in the food crop space,” said new CEO Ken Hunt in a statement. “Our one-of-a-kind tissue culture process enables growers to access stronger plants, have full genetic control over their crops, get from initial planting to real profits in a shorter period time, and shore up the severe shortage faced by this industry. I’m excited by the pipeline of future solutions Phytelligence is developing.”

Phytelligence was founded in 2012 by Amit Dhingra, a Washington State University professor, who serves now as chief science officer for the company. Last year, Phytelligence reported a five-fold increase in plant orders. The company plans to produce over 9 million plants in the next two years, according to its website.

Ag biotech company expands to Seattle, Portland

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By: Dan Wheat – Capital Press

Phytelligence, an agricultural biotechnology company with Washington State University roots, has established its headquarters in Seattle and facilities in Seattle and Portland for advanced propagation of food crops.

The company was founded in 2012 by Amit Dhingra, associate professor of horticultural genomics and biotechnology at WSU. He developed micropropagation protocols, techniques and software to produce rootstocks, fruit trees and grapevines faster and cheaper than traditional nursery methods and ensure their correct identity through high-resolution genetic fingerprinting.

Disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops also is provided.

The company has biological and compound solutions, including one that keeps pears from aging after they are sliced and packaged.

In 2012 and 2013, mix-ups in materials for propagation of new disease-resistant apple rootstock at Washington tree fruit nurseries led to the loss of millions of dollars, Dhingra has said. Phytelligence can prevent that by testing the DNA of each plant, he said.

The goal is not to replace Northwest fruit tree nurseries but help them become more efficient, cost effective and globally competitive, said Ashley Ennis, Phytelligence director of marketing.

C&O Nursery, Wenatchee; Van Well Nursery, East Wenatchee; Willow Drive Nursery, Ephrata; TRECO, Woodburn, Ore.; and ProTree Nursery, Brentwood, Calif., all have invested in Phytelligence. They remain supportive, Ennis said.

Dhingra is the company’s controlling partner, handles scientific developments and operates its Pullman laboratory, she said.

The company has expanded into production of pear and cherry trees, peaches, almonds, hops and blueberry, raspberry and strawberry plants, she said.

Seattle facilities provide 118,000 square feet of greenhouse and 85,000 square feet of outdoor storage to meet customer demand for 3 million to 6 million plants in each of the next two years.

More than 15,000 plantlets already arrive weekly from the company’s tissue culture laboratory in Pullman. The Seattle facility has a state-of-the-art, high humidity growth and acclimation building to transition plants from the tissue culture gel composition to the sterile greenhouse potting environment.

In Portland, Phytelligence recently moved into the 12,000-square-foot PacTrust facility adjacent to the Oregon Business Park. It includes former facilities of Dow AgroSciences and will retain most of that company’s researchers for studying production and use of plants for food, fuel, fiber and land reclamation. There is a tissue culture lab and plans to eventually grow up to 29 million plants annually.

Phytelligence Opens Seattle Headquarters and Greenhouse Space; Moves Into Portland Tissue Culture Lab

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Phytelligence (http://www.phytelligence.com), a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the official establishment of their Seattle headquarters, and the extension of the company to Portland, Oregon. The expansion highlights new growth for the company, which was founded in 2012 and born in Dr. Amit Dhingra’s horticulture research lab at Washington State University.

The Seattle headquarters provide Phytelligence 118,000 square feet of greenhouse space and 85,000 square feet of outdoor storage to meet customer demand for 3-6 million plants in each of the next two years. More than 15,000 plantlets already arrive weekly from the company’s tissue culture laboratory in Pullman, Washington. The furnished facility, including delivery trucks, has a state-of-the-art, high humidity growth and acclimation building serving to help transition plants from the tissue culture gel composition to the sterile greenhouse potting environment.

“The Phytelligence Greenhouse facility in Seattle was the perfect fit for the company, “ said Ken Hunt, Phytelligence CEO. “The facility and its personnel were exactly what we were looking for as we continue to scale the production of our plant material.”

In Portland, Phytelligence recently moved into the 12,000-square foot PacTrust facility adjacent to the Oregon Business Park. Benefits of the Portland space include:

  • Matching capabilities – Formerly used by Dow AgroSciences for studying the production and use of plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation.
  • Skilled workforce – Phytelligence will retain most of Dow AgroScience’s Portland-based former researchers and use the facility in much the same manner.
  • Room to grow – Phytelligence is planning an expansion that can accommodate a total production of up to 29 million plants every year.

“I have worked most of the last 14 years at this laboratory facility with many of the tissue culture scientists who will make up the core team,” stated Tyler Spurgeon, Phytelligence COO. “They are a top-notch crew with expertise in tissue culture, micro-propagation, and micro-grafting. The combination of prime facilities and skilled employees will allow Phytelligence to grow exponentially.”

 

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is a platform agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling 100 percent guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. In addition, Phytelligence has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.

Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Pullman, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Pullman Startup Quickly Changing Fruit Industry

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Pullman Startup Quickly Changing Fruit Industry

Bill McKee – Moscow-Pullman Daily News

James Jackson is ready to speed things up.

The 35-year apple growing veteran said he wants to add a new batch of Fuji apples to his orchard, but he’s hampered by the same factors constraining the rest of the industry — a limited supply of rootstocks for new trees and varieties.

Due to a backlog of demand, plus the time it takes to grow, a new order of rootstocks can easily take up to three years to arrive, Jackson said.

But a Pullman-based company has been helping the industry break through that barrier, making it possible for growers like Jackson to add new trees and varieties much sooner than he would have been able to just a few years ago.

“They’re going to deliver me a tree in 14 months that I would have had to wait three years for from a nursery because of the demand,” Jackson said. “… And they’re going to give it to me for half the price.”

pullmanstartup2

Using a process called micropropagation, Phytelligence takes small cuttings of specific plants that growers and nurseries are looking for — like the Geneva 41 rootstock Jackson has on order — and places them in a special growth medium.

“It’s our ‘special sauce,’ quite literally,” said Phytelligence co-founder Dr. Tyson Koepke. Different types of growth media are used at different stages of growth, and all are closely held company secrets.

A game changer

The media speed up growth, which Koepke said generally provides about three- to four-fold multiplication every month. Once plants are large enough, they can then be cut into multiple different plantlets again, and the process is repeated.

“So you can go from one plant to 250,000 plants in a single year,” Koepke said.

Barcodes on each jar allow the plants to be tracked from beginning to end in a sterile environment, which, combined with genetic testing on the back end, provides a new level of assurance for the genetic purity of the plants.

“Inside of the jar they have an almost perfect environment. They’ve got good humidity, good temperature and all the nutrients and minerals they need,” Koepke said.

The process is allowing Phytelligence to supplement the nurseries that growers have typically relied on in the past for their new stock.

For growers like Jackson, the speed with which he can rotate in new varieties, several times faster than nurseries can provide at a reduced cost, there lies a promise of a new industry paradigm.

“Think about it — if you can get your root two to three times faster for half the price, and if that can be done consistently, that’s going to be a game changer,” Jackson said.

 

Growing quickly

Nurseries are limited by the amount of land available for growing new plants, Koepke said, which means every new plant in the ground takes up space where a more a more mature rootstock could be growing.

Phytelligence, on the other hand, is only limited by shelf space.

Koepke said they can fit 63 jars on each shelf, with about 33 plants per jar — for a total capacity of about 550,000 plants at their Pullman location — but it’s not nearly enough.

Originally conceived in a research laboratory at Washington State University, Phytelligence is based out of the WSU Research and Technology Park.

Koepke, who since growing up on a Montana farm said he has always had a goal of finding a way to help farmers, started the business with his Ph.D. advisor, associate professor Dr. Amit Dhingra, in 2011 with the goal of helping both growers and nurseries.

The business didn’t take off right away, and they didn’t hire their first non-founder employee until 2013.

But in just a few short years, the demand for their product has skyrocketed, and the revolution within the company has begun to mirror the change Phytelligence is leading in the industry.

Koepke said they now employ about 35 people, have recently opened a new greenhouse in Seattle, and have a new laboratory in Portland coming online next month, where they will add another eight to 10 employees.

As the company prepares to increase its scale of production, it has also recently added a new senior executive staff, including a new chief executive officer, chief operations officer and chief revenue officer, who together have more than 50 years of combined leadership experience, to help usher them into the next stage of the business’ development.

Koepke said the long-term goal is to produce about 15 million plants per year across different species. They already offer a variety of different rootstock for apples, as well as pears, cherries and hops. They can also do raspberries, strawberries and grapes, and are looking to expand into almonds, citrus and forestry.

While Phytelligence is setting the stage for a revolution in the fruit-growing industry, the most noticeable change for most, however, may well be in the fruit aisle of their grocery store.

“Right now, still more than 30 percent of the apple industry is red delicious, and that needs to come down because there’s just not that much of a market for red delicious,” he said. “There’s just not enough trees available for growers to make those changes yet. So, by helping the nurseries have more material, they can make those changes sooner.”

 

Originally publishedhttp://dnews.com/local/pullman-startup-quickly-changing-fruit-industry/article_06191cc2-e297-11e5-970f-b31e47b9c79e.html