Breeders at Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm are introducing products to the market like the new cut flower Caryopteris Pagoda series. Formerly known as a landscaping plant and pot plant, this unique, modern cut flower is a true novelty to the market and one of 30 cut-flower varieties Danziger will introduce in 2016.
Danziger is focusing its breeding efforts on greater accuracy and alignment of its products with market demand. This direction has led to a change in its trialing methods, to allow more time for refinements to the breeding process and increase new varieties’ chances for commercial success.
“We are making early decisions on variety candidates for commercializing, which makes it possible to test their performance in destined growing and sales regions and at customer sites over a longer period,” says Chanochi Zaks, Vice President of Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm.
“This increases the ongoing dialogue with the target audience for characterization of needs and reaching the products desired.”
Advanced Technology Improves Breeding Accuracy
Danziger’s goal is to make it easier for growers to produce plants that sell well and give extra value to the end consumer, Zaks says. To accomplish this, the company uses all the technological improvements available to get better and faster results, working to expand its knowledge and use of molecular genetics and biotechnology to bring notable benefits to all parts of the value chain.
Danziger Innovations, a biotechnology company in Mishmar Hashiva, Israel, is the upshot of Danziger’s vast knowledge and experience with breeding and producing cut flowers, annuals, and perennials. As its name suggests, Danziger Innovations develops innovative methods for efficient breeding, with special attention paid to finding advanced breeding solutions that improve the yield and quality of major food and energy crops, together with field, vegetable, and woody ornamentals. MemoGene, a groundbreaking technology for targeted and site-specific plant genome modification based on the delivery of endonucleases to specific compartments in the plant cell by uniquely designed viral vectors, is one technology credited to Danziger Innovations.
Zaks says there has been rapid development in the endonucleases available on the market. There are now endonucleases, also referred to as biological scissors, such as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats), which are more readily available, highly efficient, and cost effective.
Another advancement in breeding, Zaks says, is new methodologies that integrate the breeder’s skills with genomic tools. This process is possible because of new developments in sequencing technology, which have dramatically reduced the cost of sequencing, resulting in an accumulation of valuable genomic data that promotes more accurate breeding.
Using the technology available to them, breeders at Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm say growers can expect more innovations and improvements in Danziger plant breeding that meet their needs. Disease-free propagation material that roots easily and has low requirements for plant growth regulators is high on the list, along with high-quality, strong-performing plants that are a good fit for the end user.