Floyd Zaiger

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Floyd Zaiger
Born 1926 (1926)
Nebraska
Residence Modesto, California, United States
Fields Biology, pomology, fruit hybridizing
Institutions Zaiger's Genetics
Alma mater UC Davis

Chris "Floyd" Zaiger (born 1926) is a biologist who is noted for his work in fruit breeding and hybrid development, particularly of stone fruit. Zaiger founded Zaiger's Genetics, a fruit-breeding business in Modesto, California, which is now an international business selling cultivars and hybrids.[1] Zaiger is famous for developing varieties such as the pluot, and has been called "the most prolific stone fruit breeder in the modern era." [2]

Work and education[edit]

Zaiger, a Nebraska native, received a degree in plant pathology and agricultural education in 1952 from the University of California, Davis.[3][4]

Zaiger has developed both cultivars of existing species and new hybrids such as the pluot[3] He uses cross-pollination by hand, rather than gene-splicing or DNA manipulation, to develop new hybrids.[5] The Zaigers hold around 280 patents for types of fruit.[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1995 Wilder Award from the American Pomological Society for "distinguished service and contributions to the advancement of pomological science and for outstanding fruit varieties" [6]
  • 1997 Awarded rank of Officier, Ordre du Mérite Agricole[7]
  • 1999 Alumni Award of Distinction award from UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences [4]

In popular culture[edit]

Zaiger figures prominently in the mental life of artisanal marijuana breeder Miro Basinas, hero of Mark Haskell Smith's novel Baked.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adler, Carlye (1 December 2004). "Designer Fruit". CNN. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Raquel Maria Dillon (October 22, 2010). "California breeder keeps perfecting peaches, plums". Associated Press. 
  3. ^ a b Jon Bonné (June 12, 2011). "Farmer creates new fruit, perfects old varieties (Floyd Zaiger, a fruit innovator to the world)". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ a b "Chris Floyd Zaiger, 1999 Award of Distinction Recipients". UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dillon, Raquel Maria (22 October 2010). "Floyd Zaiger: 'Pluot' Creator Continues Perfecting Fruit With Meticulous, Low-Tech Breeding Methods". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Wilder Medal". American Pomological Society. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "About Zaiger Genetics". Dave Wilson Nurseries. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ Smith, Mark Haskell (2010). Baked. New York: Black Cat. ISBN 978-0-8021-7076-7. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]