A renowned plant scientist credited with developing tastier strawberries is in a jam with his former employer.

The University of California at Davis is suing retired professor Douglas Shaw, saying he stole the school's intellectual property by taking some of the fruits of his research with him when he created his own company.

Shaw claims in a $45 million lawsuit of his own that the university has unfairly kept some of his work locked in a freezer, depriving the world of a better strawberry.

The dispute is set to go to trial in federal court later this month.

California is the No. 1 strawberry-growing state, with an annual crop of $2 billion.