Floyd Zaiger

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Floyd Zaiger
Born1926 (1926)
ResidenceModesto, California, United States
Alma materUC Davis
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, pomology, fruit hybridizing
InstitutionsZaiger's Genetics

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 Spyksma pluot, and has been called "the most prolific stone fruit breeder in the modern era." [2]

Work and education

Zaiger, a Nebraska native, received a degree in plant pathology and agricultural education in 1952 from the University of California, Davis. He attended school until eighth grade, was drafted into the army for two years, then attended college. [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

  • 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]


  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.

Further reading

External links