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Phytelligence Welcomes Director Of Global Sales, Berries And Nuts; Adds Matt Shanks To Growing Team

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SEATTLEJan. 12, 2017PRLog — Phytelligence, the leader in agricultural technology revolutionizing food crops, has announced the addition of Matt Shanks as Director of Global Sales and Business Development to the growing company roster. Shanks comes to Phytelligence from Oro Agri where he was the Pacific Northwest Area Manager and honed his experience by working one-on-one with some of the largest growers and distributors in the industry.  Prior to that, he owned his own agricultural business for 17 years that extended into Mexico, Chile and China.

As Director of Global Sales, Shanks will help Phytelligence expand their clean, true-to-type plant materials to the rapidly growing berry and nut markets both locally and internationally. Shanks’ background in sales within the agriculture industry, and specifically within the berry industry, is a great match for the growing Phytelligence.

“I joined Phytelligence because I’ve worked with growers my entire career and I’ve seen first hand the issues they have obtaining quality plant material,” said Shanks. “The nursery industry has been notoriously stagnant and I believe Phytelligence is doing the growers a great service by using technology to provide stronger plants, on a quicker timeline. I’m looking forward to bringing Phytelligence plants to berry and nut growers around the globe.”

Phytelligence is based in Seattle, Washington with a research and development lab in Pullman, Washington and a tissue culture lab in Portland, Oregon. Over the last year, Phytelligence has grown their workforce to over 50 full-time employees and expanded their footprint to accommodate over 20 million plants in tissue culture at their Portland location. With their official expansion into the berry and nut markets, Phytelligence will provide clean, true-to-type plant materials across a wide range of varieties including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, hazelnuts and almonds.

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing food crops. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest while reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders 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 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.  In 2016, Phytelligence expanded their footprint including securing an 8-acre Seattle-based greenhouse space and a Portland-based tissue culture lab. Currently, Phytelligence has 50 employees with immediate plans to continue hiring in the near future.

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

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

WSU Professor’s Start-Up Improves Fruit Tree Growth, Saves Water

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By Richard Springer | India West

One of “coolest parts” of his job, Amit Dhingra, associate professor of horticultural genomics and biotechnology in the molecular plant sciences graduate program at Washington State University, told India-West, “is to work with farmers directly.”

Head of the horticultural genomics laboratory at WSU in Pullman, the Indian American botanist said that a constant complaint he hears from local farmers and nurseries in Washington state is the financial disaster that ensues when they find out, sometimes years after planting, that the rootstocks they ordered were not what they thought.

Growers have to rip out rows and rows of fruit trees and start over from scratch, losing millions of dollars in the process. One rootstock starter normally produces 10-20 plants.

“When farmers plant their trees, 10-40 percent die after planting,” Dhingra said at a recent TED forum, “and, of the ones that do survive, 10-20 percent are not what is ordered (due to) mix-ups.”

The farmers, he added, “have to put their money down, and wait for the fruit trees to arrive three to five years later.”

What if one could prevent mix-ups by testing the DNA of each plant before delivery, and in addition, through a soil-free multiplication system called tissue culture, multiply the number of plants produced and cut the time period for their growth?

“When I joined WSU, there was little gene-based information on apples, pears and cherries, so I initially mapped the entire DNA, or genome, of apples, pears and cherries,” Dhingra told the Capital Press of Pullman recently.

He said he led the U.S. research on apples in collaboration with Italian scientists and the results were published in 2010. In June 2013, he released the genomes of Golden Delicious apples, Comice pears, Stella sweet cherries and one bitter and one sweet almond, the Capital Press reported.

Meanwhile, Dhingra was also working to develop a process to increase the numbers of more robust fruit trees able to be grown in a shorter time.

That’s just what he did; so with some of his graduate students as co-owners and with a license from WSU with full disclosure in place, he founded Phytelligence, which does DNA testing to guarantee authenticity of fruit trees supplied to nurseries and farmers, and supplies more plants cheaper and farther along in the growth process than through traditional methods.

The process uses small pieces of plant, called explants, which are developed soil free in Petri dishes in “clean containers” supported by a proprietary mix of nutrients and artificial light.

The tissue culture system, Dhingra said in the TED talk, “multiplies plants three to five fold within three weeks. We can make 250,000 (two-inch-tall) plants from one starting plant in one year.”

“We don’t use pesticides, fungicides or insecticides,” he added. No fruit varieties are genetically engineered, Dhingra told India-West.

The fruit trees, he said, are “genetically tested to make sure they are true to type, to provide peace of mind (to nurseries and farmers). They are certain to thrive and produce fruit, and for every tree produced, they save up to 50-80 gallons of clean water. For every million trees, up to 80 million gallons of water” are saved — enough to supply the San Francisco Bay Area’s water needs for one year, he told the TED audience.

Phytelligence’s methods, Dhingra told India-West, have applications for reforestation, citrus and nut productions, winemaking and bio-fuel crops.

Through tissue culture, Phytelligence has the potential to make up to several million plants a year. “Every million additional trees can sequester the (amount of) carbon dioxide released by 100,000 cars,” Dhingra pointed out at the TED forum.

Phytelligence produced about 50,000 plants over the last year and expects to produce about 450,000 in 2015, with a target of 1.6 million in 2016.

“We are also developing a licensing model to train people how to do this,” he said. Six of the largest fruit nursery and growers in Washington, Oregon and California have invested in an “A” round of funding in the company.

The Indian American associate professor has a bachelor’s in science from Delhi University, an M.S. in botany from Agra University and a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology that he began at the University of Delhi and finished at Rutgers University in 2000, along the way receiving a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation.

He worked at Rutgers and in research at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, before becoming an assistant professor at WSU in 2006.

His parents wanted him to be a doctor, but by the 8th grade in India he was determined to pursue the field of botany. “Plants are the reason why life exists on this planet. They give us oxygen to breathe,” he told the Capital Press.

His wife, Deepika, who has a doctorate in plant molecular biology, works in the WSU genomics lab that her husband heads. They have a ten-year-old daughter.

The Phytelligence technology, he told the Ted forum, “is simple, scalable and sustainable.” And it has one more essential thing, he added, “smart graduate students,” who, along with Dhingra, “want a healthy planet.”

Original Post – http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/wsu-professor-s-start-up-improves-fruit-tree-growth-saves/article_feba8bc2-0922-11e4-bf42-001a4bcf887a.html