September 30,2018 | Vol. 3


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Visits CAAS

On the morning of August 21, 2018, the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir visited the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Academician Tang Huajun, President of CAAS, received PM Mahathir and his delegation. Tang also, joined by Bai Tian, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, escorted the delegation’s tour to the Institute of Crop Sciences and the National Agriculture Technology Innovation Park of CAAS. The two sides held talks on strengthening cooperation and exchanges on agricultural science and technology.
Tang briefed PM Mahathir and his delegation on the basic situation and scientific research achievements of CAAS as well as the current cooperation with Malaysia on agricultural science and technology and future cooperation focus and mechanism. Read more >>

Somali President Mohamed Visits CAAS

On September 2nd, 2018, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed visited the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) with his delegation. Dr. Tang Huajun, President of the CAAS, received the delegation and accompanied them to the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Park. Dr. Wu Kongming, Vice President of CAAS, attended the meeting.
In the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Park, Mr. Mohamed was introduced technologies in the designing and developing urban agriculture, plant factories, vertical agriculture, community agriculture as well as the application of advanced technologies in the soilless cultivation, artificial light sources, the Internet of Things, greenhouse pest control and pollination. Read more >>

Research Update

The Monocot-Specific Receptor-like Kinase SDS2 Controls Cell Death and Immunity in Rice

Programmed cell death (PCD) plays critical roles in plant immunity but must be regulated to prevent excessive damage. The E3 ubiquitin ligase SPL11 negatively regulates PCD and immunity in plants. However, the molecular mechanism of SPL11-mediated PCD and immunity is mainly unknown. Recently, researchers at State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection (IPP) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) have published a research paper about the molecular mechanism of a plasma membrane-resident protein complex consisting of SDS2, SPL11 and OsRLCK118/176 modulating PCD and immunity in rice.
SPL11, encoding a plant U-box type E3 ubiquitin ligase, negatively regulates PCD and innate immunity, and the rice spl11 mutant is lesion mimic. They previously isolated three spl11 cell death suppressors (sds1-3). In this study, they reported map-based cloning and characterization of SDS2 that encodes an S-domain RLK. Read more >>

SHVRI Finds that the Acidity/alkalinity Properties of the Residue 138 of E Protein Determine the Virulence of Japanese Encephalitis Virus

Recently, the research team of swine viral reproductive failure syndrome from Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has made important progress in the research of neurovirulence of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). It was found that the acidity/alkalinity properties of the residue 138 of E protein determine the virulence of the virus. Relevant research results were published in the Journal of Virology. Dr. Tong Guangzhi is the corresponding author of this article.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is an important pathogen of viral encephalitis, which is prevalent in East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, and seriously endangers human health. People, especially children under the age of 14, have a mortality rate of 20%-30% of Japanese encehpalitis, and up to 50% of the survivors have encephalitis neurosequelae. Read more >>

Novel Antimicrobial Peptides to Control Intracellular Salmonella Infection in Livestock and Poultry

Recently, the “antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) & antibiotic to substitutes (ATA)” group led by Prof. Wang Jianhua from Feed Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has designed novel antimicrobial peptides against intracellular Salmonella infection by conjugating AMPs with the cell-penetrating peptide via a cleavable linker. These peptides showed higher antimicrobial activity and lower cytotoxicity than the parental peptide, which are candidates for novel antimicrobial agents to treat intracellular pathogens. The study was published in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Salmonella, a major pathogen of zoonosis, can cause severe intestinal infection and diarrhea in humans and animals. Globally, about 1.3 billion people are infected each year, with losses of more than 20 billion dollars. Salmonella can invade and reproduce in host cells; meanwhile, most of the traditional antibiotics show low antibacterial activity due to their low cell penetration rate. AMPs from sea worms have high activity against Salmonella and are not easy to develop resistance, with the high potential for clinical use. Read more >>

Academician Wang Hanzhong’s Team Revealed the New Regulatory Mechanism for Yield Traits in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)

Recently, a team led by academician Wang Hanzhong, the chief scientist for the innovation team of rapeseed genetic improvement in Oil Crops Research Institute (OCRI) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), has revealed a new maternal regulatory mechanism for seed weight in rapeseed. This new finding has been published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, which provided new theory and approach for the genetic improvement of yield traits.
Seed weight is an important component of yield in rapeseed. The previous research on yield is concentrated on seed itself, such as embryo and endosperm, and the relative contribution and regulatory mechanism of mother plant in determining seed weight is unknown. For this purpose, the team conducted an ingenious (hand emasculation and self- and cross-pollination on the same mother plant) genetic analysis using the representative extremely large- and small-seed accessions chosen from the core germplasm. Read more >>

Generation of Self-compatible Diploid Potato by Genome Editing

Researchers at Agricultural Genomes Institute at Shenzhen (AGIS) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) have published a brief communication on Journal of Nature Plants about overcoming the self-incompatibility of diploid potato by genome editing. This is the first published research article since the implementation of the “Upotato Plan”.
Potato is the most important tuber crop in the world. For a long time, the research and production of potato have been dominated by tetraploid, which has caused the potato industry to face two structural obstacles. Firstly, the inheritance of tetraploid is very complicated, resulting in long breeding cycle and slower variety renewal; secondly, the potato is propagated by tubers, which has defects such as low reproductive coefficient, high storage and transportation cost, and easily carrying of pests and diseases. Read more >>

CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing System has Potential to Enhance Defense against Cotton Cancer “Verticillium dahlia”

Recently, gene edited mutants with high resistance to V.dahliae were created, and provided the new germplasms for breeding defense cultivars. These results were finished via the cooperation from Li Fuguang’s team of Insititute of Cotton Research of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and Wu Jiahe’s team of institute of microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and were published in the Frontiers in Plan Science in June 28th.
Cotton verticillium wilt, called as “cotton cancer”, is a destructive disease, annually leading to huge economic losses in China. The breed of disease-resistant cultivars via cross breeding hits a bottleneck, where few resistant genes or germplasm resources against V. dahliae are naturally found in G. hirsutum. Read more >>

International Cooperation Update

CAAS Strengthens Agricultural Science and Technology Cooperation with Central Asian Countries

During July 15-24, 2018, a delegation led by Dr. Tang Huajun, President of CAAS, visited Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The delegation expanded cooperation between CAAS and the national agricultural education and scientific research institutions in the three countries, respectively signed cooperation agreements, identified the key areas and projects as well as methods and mechanisms for carrying out agricultural science and technology cooperation in Central Asian countries with various characteristics and confirmed plans regarding the establishment of joint laboratories and strengthening youth talents training.
During the visit to Tajikistan, the delegation visited one of the first batches of overseas demonstration parks of agricultural technology sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and officially signed the cooperation agreement with Tajik Academy of Agricultural Sciences for the first time. Read more >>

Tajikistan Parliament Delegation Visits CAAS

On August 24th, 2018, Mr. Zhang Hecheng, Secretary of Leading Party Group of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), met with Mr. Salimzoda Olim, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lower Chamber of the Tajikistan Parliament, and his delegation with the company of Ms. Cheng Jin, Inspector of the General Office of the Foreign Affairs Committee of CPPCC. Mr. Li Jinxiang, Vice President of the CAAS attended the meeting.
Mr. Zhang Hecheng welcomed the delegation and introduced the latest development of the CAAS. He said that China, as a large agricultural country with vast rural area and a high rural population, attaches great importance to the development of agriculture and rural areas. China aims to enter a comprehensive well-off society by 2020, and is implementing Strategy for Tackling Poverty and the Rural Revitalization Strategy. Read more >>

Wu Kongming Meets with Panamanian Minister of Agricultural Development

On August 20th, 2018, Dr. Wu Kongming, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) met with a delegation led by Mr. Se?or Eduardo E Carles, Minister of Agricultural Development. Both parties exchanged views on cooperation in agricultural research.
Dr. Wu Kongming introduced the basic situation of the CAAS to the Panamanian delegation. Wu said, the cooperation between China and Panama has developed rapidly since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the next 10 years, the agriculture in China will be adjusted to roads of green and sustainable development, with reduction using of pesticides and fertilizers, water conservation and environmental protection so as to provide quality agricultural products to the 1.3 billion people of China. Read more >>

Secretary General Leif Forsell of Royal Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Visits CAAS

On August 10th, 2018, Mr. Leif Forsell, Secretary General of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, visited the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Dr. Wan Jianmin, Vice President of CAAS met with the delegation. Both parties had in-depth exchanges on further enhancing the level and effectiveness of cooperation and promoting the agricultural development of China and Norway to a new level.
Dr. Wan Jianmin delivered warm welcome and briefed the delegation on CAAS He introduced that since the establishment in 1957, CAAS has gradually built strong ability in scientific research and technology promotion and provided solid support for the national food security and the national economic development. Read more >>

CAAS Pragmatically Promotes Cooperation with New Zealand and Australia in Agricultural Science and Technology

On June 14th to June 21st, a delegation led by Dr. Liu Daqun, Dean of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), visited the Massey University and the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited and the University of Tasmania and NRM South in Australia.
During their stay in New Zealand, the delegation held in-depth talks with Mr. Stuart Morriss, Vice President of Massey University and achieved consensus on such topics as strengthening the cooperation in joint researches on food safety, animal disease prevention and fruit trees as well as promoting postgraduate exchange and joint cultivation of PhD students. Read more >>

CAAS Held Workshop on “International Mega Programme-Lessons to Learn”

From June 25th to June 26th, 2018, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) held a Workshop on “International Mega Programme-Lessons to Learn” in Beijing. Dr. Tang Huajun, President of the CAAS, attended the meeting and delivered a speech. The opening ceremony of the meeting was presided by Dr. Wu Kongming, Vice President of the CAAS.
Dr. Tang Huajun pointed out that with China’s agricultural development stepping into a new stage, agricultural S&T plays a more and more significant role in satisfying the people’s constantly-increasing demands on food consumption, promoting rural revitalization, regional balance and agricultural sustainable development, as well as promoting international agri-food trade development, etc., all of which required the collective intelligence contribution of the globe. Read more >>

Cooperation between CAAS and INRA Steadily Enhanced by Matching Their Senior Scientists

At the invitation by French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and on behalf of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Prof. Zhang Huijie, Deputy Director General of Department of International Cooperation of CAAS, visited Paris, France by leading the CAAS senior scientists delegation to participate in the“The 1st CAAS-INRA Agricultural Scientists Workshop”,which was jointly held by the CAAS and INRA.
INRA Vice President Jean-Fran?ois SOUSSANA and Prof. Zhang Huijie jointly opened the workshop on behalf of INRA and CAAS. Prof. Zhang Huijie delivered a keynote speech on behalf of the CAAS, introducing the basic conditions of the CAAS and the cooperation between the CAAS and INRA. Read more >>


‘Mountain Futures’ and Embassy of Switzerland in China Promotes Sino-Swiss Cooperation on Mountain Development

The Embassy of Switzerland in China hosted an event named ‘Mountain Futures – a Shared Vision of Switzerland and China’ to promote Sino-Swiss cooperation on mountain development. On July 5, 2018, the Ambassador of Switzerland to China, H. E. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, delivered a brief introduction on the events which presented some new ways in which Switzerland and China would work together to pioneer new approaches to rural revitalization in mountain areas.
The relationship between humans and nature has evolved through three ages and three spaces: In the age of nature, humans saw themselves as being part of the natural world; humans developed agriculture and lived in rural areas enjoying close connection with the land. In the age of industry, or the Anthropocene, humans raised great cities, which relied on intensive agriculture in the lowlands and coastal regions. Read more >>

Prof. Yan Changrong Elected as President of Committee of International Plastics in Agriculture

Prof. Yan Changrong, from the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development of Agriculture of CAAS, was elected as the President of Committee of International Plastics in Agriculture (CIPA) for a three-year term (2019 - 2021) when he was invited to attend the 21st CIPA Congress this May, 2018.
Prof. Yan Changrong is the Chief Scientist of the Biological Water Saving and Dryland Farming team, and the Director of the Agro-film Pollution Control and Prevention Key Laboratory. He has long been working on plastic film application and plastic residue pollution control in China. Read more >>

Professor Yang Qichang Elected Chairman of ISHS Specialized Committee of Design and Automation in Integrated Indoor Production System

On Aug 12th-17th, 2018, the 30th International Horticultural Congress (IHC 2018) was held in Istanbul, Turkey. During the congress, leaders of various branches and specialized committees were re-elected. At the congress, Prof. Yang Qichang, Chief Expert of “Facility Plant Environmental Engineering Team” was elected as Chairman of Design and Automation in Integrated Indoor Production System, International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).
Prof. Yang Qichang has been long devoted to the field of “Facility Horticultural Environmental Engineering”, especially by his outstanding progresses in intelligent LED plant factory, greenhouse environmental system simulation and energy saving regulations and other fields, which is highly affirmed by worldwide counterparts. Read more >>

NECTAR of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences founded in Beijing

On August 1st, 2018, National Excellence Center of Root and Tuber Research (NECTAR) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) was founded. Qu Dongyu, Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and Dr. Tang Huajun, President of CAAS attended the meeting and delivered speeches. The meeting was presided by Chen Mengshan, Secretary of Leading Party Group of CAAS.
Qu Dongyu pointed out that to promote potatoes as the new staple is an important national strategy, which concerns national major strategic deployments including food security, poverty alleviation, rural revitalization, etc. Read more >>

Director General Gong Xifeng Presided the 22nd Annual Meeting of APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group

On August 7th, 2018, the 22nd Annual Meeting of APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It was one of the significant activities of APEC Food Safety Week in 2018. Dr. Gong Xifeng, ATCWG Lead Shepherd, also Director General of Department of International Cooperation of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), leading a delegation attended the meeting.
The meeting was presided by the Lead Shepherd, Dr. Gong. On the meeting, the Working Plan of ATCWG this year was reviewed. Read more >>