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CAHNRS Department of Horticulture Genomics Lab

Sliced pears show potential

Sliced apples account for ten percent of the U.S. apple market. A Washington State University scientist believes sliced pears could give the pear industry a similar boost if technical challenges can be resolved.

If the pear market could be expanded by 10 percent, by delivering high-quality sliced pears, that would translate to a $40 million positive impact on the pear industry, says Dr. Amit Dhingra, WSU geneticist. Importantly, it would increase the demand for small fruit, in the less-preferred 120 to 135 size range.

Read the full article by Geraldine Warner here

Better Plantlets for Better Plants

Using a proprietary growing method developed at Washington State University (WSU), startup company Phytelligenceis producing plants and trees faster than ever, offering a fresh alternative to tree farmers in an industry overripe for innovation.

“We can produce in one year what is typically produced in three years: a 10-foot tall tree,” says Amit Dhingra, Ph.D., associate professor of horticultural genomics and biotechnology in the molecular plant sciences graduate program at WSU.


Read the full article here

Plant biotech startup speeds propagation

Washington State University researchers-turned-entrepreneurs have developed a method for growing trees three times faster while conserving water and reducing the need for pesticides – and they just made their first sale. Read the full article by Kate Wilhite at WSU News.


Phytelligence founders Amit Dhingra, left, Kathie Nicholson, Tyson Koepke and Scott Schaeffer.

Not pictured are Nathan Tarlyn and Derick Jiwan.

The Root of the Problem

A professor, a graduate student and a team of farmers and researchers are doing some digging to learn about root rot.“It’s all about survival,” said Amit Dhingra, an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture. Read more at the Daily Evergreen.

Fruit Ripening Compounds Discovered

Scientists at Washington State University have discovered ripening compounds that show promise for making pears ripen more ­predictably.

Pears are mature, but unripe and hard when they are harvested, and some varieties, such as d’Anjou, require a period of chilling in storage before they will ripen.Read more of the article by Geraldine Warner at Good Fruit Grower.