Biotechnology Company Partners With Grower To Develop New Cherry Varieties

Biotechnology Company Partners With Grower To Develop New Cherry Varieties

Rootstock material is cut and placed in a growing medium. (Photo courtesy of Phytelligence)

Rootstock material is cut and placed in a growing medium. (Photo courtesy of Phytelligence)

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.

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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.”