March 31,2018 | Vol. 1


British Prime Minister Theresa May visits CAAS National Agricultural Science and Technology Demonstration Park

On the morning of February 1, British Prime Minister Theresa May visited National Agricultural Science and Technology Demonstration Park, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Mr. Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture (MOA), Mr. Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of China to the United Kingdom, Mr. Tang Huajun, member of the Leading Party Group of MOA and President of CAAS, and Mr. Chen Mengshan, Secretary of the Leading Party Group of CAAS accompanied her visit tour at CAAS.
The head of the National Agricultural Science and Technology Demonstration Park introducedto Prime Minister May the LED plant factory, soilless culture, three-dimensional hydroponic culture and other related technologies and applicationsin the Park. May expressed her appreciation for the achievements made by Chinese scientists in the field of high-tech agriculture. Read more >>

CAAS President Prof. Tang Huajun Meets with Minister of Agriculture of Belgium

On January 31st 2018, Prof. Tang Huajun, President of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), met with Mr. Denis Ducarme, the Minister of Agriculture of Belgium. The two sides had in-depth discussion on topics of common interests. Prof. Wu Kongming, the Vice President of CAAS, Mr. Marc Vinck, the Belgium ambassador to China and the Chief of Federal Bureau of Food Safety Belgium attended the meeting.
Prof. Tang welcomed Minister Ducarme’s visit, he noted that China and Belgium have been enjoying long standing friendly relationship. Belgium is among these countries that established partnership with China at the earliest date. There are a large number of experts, researchers as well as students who had ever studied in Belgian Universities such as Gent University, Liege University. Read more >>

Research Update

Robust Genome Editing of CRISPR-Cas9 at NAG PAMs in Rice

Recently, researchers from China National Rice Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) cooperatively reported that CRISPR-Cas9 system could effectively recognize NAG PAMs in rice on the paper entitled Robust genome editing of CRISPR-Cas9 at NAG PAMs in rice. This study is publicly available online on SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences (SCLS). Holger Puchta’s commentary on the study entitled Broadening the applicability of CRISPR/Cas9 in plants was simultaneously published by SCLS, in which the theoretical value and application prospect of the above research was highlighted.
Genome editing has become one of the revolutionary breakthroughs in life science. Read more >>

An Anthocyanin-rich Purple Embryo Maize Germplasm Generated by an Efficient Multigene Expression System

Using a novel multi-gene expression system, a research group of the Biotechnology Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) engineered a “Purple Embryo Maize” by changing the spatiotemporal expression characteristics of anthocyanin biosynthesis related maize genes. This strategy overcomes anthocyanins accumulated only in pericarp and the aleurone layer with limited biomass in the traditional edible grains. The relevant research results were published online in the Plant Biotechnology Journal on January 19th, 2018.
Crop performance depends on multiple traits and metabolic pathways and multiple traits must simultaneously be addressed during crop improvement. Read more >>

Characterization of a Major QTL for Mn Accumulation in Rice Grain

Some diets lack sufficient Manganese (Mn), an essential trace element for life. Although increasing Mn in grain by biofortification could prevent Mn deficiency, it may increase levels of the toxic element cadmium (Cd). Recently, researchers from China National Rice Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) cloned a major QTL for grain Mn.
Researchers investigated Mn concentration in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grains of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from the cross of 93-11 (low grain Mn) with PA64s (high grain Mn). Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis identified a major QTL for grain Mn, qGMN7.1, on the short arm of chromosome 7. Read more >>

Effect on Tanscriptome and Metabolome of Stacked Transgenic Maize

The research group of Biotechnology Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) analyzed the impact of gene stacking on transcriptome and metabolomics of maize. The related paper was recently published on Plant Journal.
In this study, stacked transgenic maize 12-5×IE034 that contained insecticidal cry and glyphosate tolerance G10-epsps genes was obtained by crossing of transgenic maize varieties 12-5 and IE034. Transcriptome and metabolome analyses were performed for different maize varieties, including 12-5×IE034, 12-5, IE034, and conventional varieties collected from different province in China. The results showed that the 9 maize varieties had obvious difference in gene expression, and the effects of hybrid stacking are less than those from transformation and differing genotypes. Read more >>

The Fungal Pathogen Magnaporthe Oryzae Suppresses Innate Immunity by Modulating a Host Potassium Channel

Potassium (K+) is required by plants for growth and development, and also contributes to immunity against pathogens. However, it has not been established whether pathogens modulate host K+ signaling pathways to enhance virulence and subvert host immunity.
The hemibiotrophic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, causes rice blast disease in all rice-growing countries and also causes wheat blast in South America and Bangladesh. Recently, researchers at State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) published a research paper on PLOS Pathogens about the mechanism that the effector protein AvrPiz-t from the rice blast pathogen M. oryzae targets a K+ channel to subvert plant immunity. Read more >>

International Cooperation Update

Prof. Wu Kongming Meets Bangladesh Cabinet Secretary

January 10th, 2018, Prof. Wu Kongming, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), met with Bangladesh Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, as well as Bangladesh Ambassador Fazle Kalim in Beijing, China. The two sides had discussion on strengthening cooperation on agricultural science and technology and jointly building Collaborating Centre in the agricultural field.
Prof. Wu Kongming expressed warm welcome to the Aram delegation. He noted that both China and Bangladesh are agricultural countries, CAAS is willing to exchange views and work together with Bangladesh agriculture research institutions in hybrid rice technology, vegetables, flowers, tea, cotton, hemp and other disciplines, since food security, development of agricultural technology are major issues of common concern. Read more >>

Actively Expand South-South Cooperation and Promote the Management of Agricultural Water Resources

On February 1st, 2018, the World Bank “Technical Knowledge Exchange Seminar on Improving Agricultural Water Management for the Middle East and North Africa” was held in Chinese Agricultural Academy of Sciences(CAAS). Senior government officials from Egypt, Lebanon and other nations, the World Bank’s representatives and domestic experts attended the meeting. Prof. Wu Kongming, Vice President of CAAS attended the meeting and delivered a speech.
Prof. Wu pointed out that in 2017, the Chinese Government announced “Opinions about Innovating Institutions and Mechanisms to Promote Green Development of Agriculture”, aiming at enhancing arable land protection and water conservation to keep water clean and mountain green. Read more >>

IPP-CAAS Strongly Promotes the Establishment of European Laboratory in Switzerland

Through December 6th to 11th, 2017, a delegation led by Prof. Qiu Dewen, Deputy Director General of IPP-CAAS, paid a visit to CABI Switzerland Centre, and held in-depth consultations with foreign counterpart on the work plan of the European Laboratory under the frame work of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture-CABI Collaborating Centre for Bio-safety (hereinafter referred to as the Collaborating Centre). Both sides reached a consensus on the implementation of the work plan.
During the visit in Switzerland, the IPP-CAAS delegation has met with Dr. Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director for Global Operations and Co-Director of the Collaborating Centre, Dr. Hariet Hinz, CABI’s Country Director in Switzerland, and other CABI experts for the discussion of the priority research areas and has worked out plan for 2018-2019...... Read more >>

Deputy Director General of FAO Visits Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture

On February 4th, 2018, Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director General of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and his delegation visited Reference Center for Biogas Research and Training, Biogas Institute of Ministry of Agriculture (BIOMA).
The delegation first visited Microbiology Research Center (Key Laboratory of Development and Application of Rural Renewable Energy, Ministry of Agriculture), laboratory of Biogas Engineering Research Center and laboratory of Biomass Research Center. Laboratory staff introduced the work of BIOMA in terms of anaerobic microorganism, anaerobic fermentation technology, biogas engineering, R&D platforms, etc. After that, the delegation also had a meeting with leaders and experts of BIOMA. Wang Dengshan, Director General of BIOMA introduced the industry trends of biogas, research capacities, and the work of Reference Center, proposing the plan to carry out south-south cooperation under the support of FAO. Read more >>

Forum on Agricultural Cooperation in Support of the Belt and Road Initiative Successfully Held in Beijing

On January 17th, 2018, Forum on Agricultural Cooperation in Support of the Belt and Road Initiative, hosted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and organized by Center for International Agricultural Research (CIAR) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), was held in Beijing.
“The aim of collaboration with FAO is to maximize the poverty alleviation and rural development impact of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative involves huge investments in transportation and communications infrastructure. Matching these investments with much smaller investments supporting well designed complementary measures, the Belt and Road Initiative can make very substantial poverty alleviation achievements.” said Vincent Martin. Read more >>


Professor Li Yong Appointed as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (AGEE)

On January 4th, 2018, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture (IEDA) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) organized a Workshop on the Development of the Journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (AGEE). Prof. Wu Kongming, Vice President of CAAS attended and addressed the workshop. Dr. Zhang Huijie, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of CAAS; Prof. Shao Ming’an, Academician of CAS, research fellow of Northwest A&F University; Ms. Wu Yan, Publisher of Agriculture and Soil Science (Global) of Elsevier Science Publishing Group; Prof. Liu Baoyuan from Beijing Normal University, Winner of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, Associate Editor of Catena; Prof. Bai Junhong from Beijing Normal University, Editor-in-Chief of Geoderma; Pro. Zhang Guanghui from Beijing Normal University, Candidate of One-hundred Talent Program of CAS; Prof. Yu Xinxiao from Beijing Forestry University; Pro. Lei Tingwu from China Agricultural University; Prof. Zhu Changxiong, Deputy Director General of IEDA-CAAS, chief scientists of research disciplines, team leaders, postgraduates and other related staff from IEDA also participated in the workshop. Read more >>