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Research Institutes (Beijing)


Institute of Vegetables and Flowers (IVF)


Founded in 1958, Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was the only national nonprofit professional research organization in the field of vegetables and flowers. Its primary missions are: in accordance with major developing needs of industry and discipline of vegetables and flowers, to carry out research on application and application basis; innovate applicative technology and basic theory; to transform scientific and technological achievements; to organize national major scientific collaboration; to conduct domestic and international academic exchange and training; to foster high-level professional and technical talents; and to edit and publish academic journals.

Currently, the Institute has more than 200 employees, 80 people with senior titles, and 33 researchers, including 50 people with doctorates. The Institute also possesses an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, an Outstanding Youth Scholar of National Natural Science Foundation, a chief expert of 973 Program, as well as 2 chief experts of Agricultural Industry Technology System, Ministry of Agriculture.

The Institute occupies a total area of 70 hectares for 5 experimental farms of which the protected area account for 10 hectares, coupled with an area of 13,000 square meters for research buildings. The Institute also owns more than 500 equipments worth 90 million yuan, of which every single piece is beyond 10 thousand yuan, as well as a medium-term repository of national vegetable germplasm resources that preserves 38,500 pieces of vegetables germplasm resources.

Under the Institute, there are 10 affiliated departments respectively on germplasm resources, crucifers, solanums, cucurbits, cultivation and postharvest technology, plant protection, biotechnology, ornamental horticulture, potato as well as quality safety and testing technique, as:
• Department of Germplasm Resources
• Department of Cruciferous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding
• Department of Solanaceous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding
• Department of Cucurbits Genetics and Breeding
• Department of Vegetable Culture and Postharvest Technology
• Department of Plant Protection
• Department of Flower Research
• Department of Biotechnology

Department of Germplasm Resources
Department of Germplasm Resources is a base for the medium-term repository of national vegetable germplasm resources and national field genebank of vegetative-propagated vegetable germplasm resources. This department is mainly engaged in inspection, collection, propagation, preservation and evaluation of vegetable germplasm resources at home and abroad; establishing vegetable germplasm resources sharing platform; research on vegetable origins and classification; vegetable germplasm innovation and elite genetic resources digging; development and utilization of rare and special, elite vegetable resources, etc.

The National Field Genebank and In-vitro Genebank of Vegetative-propagated Vegetable Germplasm Resources

Exploitation of rare and elite germplasm resources

Department of Cruciferous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding

Department of Cruciferous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding has two research task forces for genetics and breeding of both cabbage and broccoli and celery cabbage. The department largely embarks on innovation of crop germplasm resources, such as broccoli, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as in breeding of new varieties; research and utilization of male sterility; research and application of microspore culture technology; construction of a molecular marker and linkage map with main agronomic traits; genes of male sterility and disease resistance, along with their genetic mechanism; transgenic technology and utilization.

Lvqi Broccoli Zhongqing No.8 Broccoli
Zhongbai No.76 Chinese Cabbage Zhongbai No.81 Chinese Cabbage

Figure 1 The department has cultivated 28 new cabbage family varieties, 16 new Chinese cabbage family varieties, and 6 new broccoli varieties. The cultivated cabbage varieties account for more than 60% of the acreage of cabbage nationwide. Figure 1 shows some new varieties bred in recent years.

Department of Solanaceous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding
Department of Solanaceous Vegetables Genetics and Breeding has 5 genetics and breeding task forces of fresh tomato, processing tomato, sweet (hot) pepper, eggplant and potato. This department is mainly engaged in the agronomy, products and anti-(reverse) disease heredity of Solanaceae vegetables, along with positional cloning of its related genes; artificial rapid identification techniques for quality and anti-(reverse) disease traits; breeding technical research such as cellular engineering, molecular markers and male sterility; innovation of Solanaceae vegetable germplasm resources as well as in breeding of new varieties.

Isolated microspore culture of eggplant: plant regeneration through microspore embryo

Department of Cucurbits Genetics and Breeding
Department of Cucurbits Genetics and Breeding has with 4 task forces respectively on cucumber, watermelon, squash and pumpkins, as well as melons. This department is mainly engaged in innovation of Cucurbitaceae vegetable germplasm resources, as well as in breeding of new varieties; heredity and mechanism of disease-resistance, stress-resistance and qualitative traits; establishing a linkage map, alongside molecular markers and fine mapping of major agronomic traits; culture technology research of haploid and polyploid; transgenic technology research.

The breeding of new varieties for greenhouse, plastic house and open field growing conditions.

A SSR genetic map of cucumber developed with recombination inbred line

Department of Vegetable Culture and Postharvest Technology
Under the Department of Vegetable Culture and Postharvest Technology there are four research task forces respectively on facility cultivation, soilless culture, factory seedling production technology and vegetable postharvest technology. It is mainly engaged in the research on physiology, ecology and control technology for facility high yield and quality culture of vegetable, eco-organic soilless cultivation technology on culture media and greenhouse vegetables, rhizosphere microbial diversity during vegetable seedling period, growth mechanisms, industrialized breeding, and vegetable postharvest preservation and processing technology.

Department of Plant Protection
Under the Department of Plant Protection, there are three research task forces, respectively dedicated to vegetable diseases, vegetables insects and comprehensive prevention and control. The Department is mainly engaged in the research on genomics of important pathogens of vegetables and flowers, physiological differentiation and pathogenesis; vegetable genetic resources resistant to insect pests and engineering of insect-resistant genetics; basic and applied technology research on pest biology of vegetables and flowers, ecology and comprehensive control; rapid diagnosis of horticultural crop pests and diseases, as well as early warning and control technology for invasive alien horticultural pests and diseases.

Invasive Bemisia tabaci Q biotype was first found

Sustainable control system of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis

Biological invasions monitoring for disease

Department of Flower Research
Under the Department of Flower Research, there are three research task forces, respectively on lily, peony, and tissue culture. The Department is principally engaged in the collection, conservation and evaluation of flower germplasm resources originating from China, and in the research on genetic mechanisms of such traits as new colors, disease resistance and stress tolerance on important flowers (lily, peony, rose, chrysanthemum, anthurium, etc.). The Department is also dedicated to the research on marker assisted breeding and transgenic research of cold- and pest-resistant molecules in important flowers, and breeding techniques of tissue culture, seedling (ball) production, new varieties and efficient cultivation of important flowers.

Collection of peony resources and cross-breeding
Detection of three Lily viruses using multiplex RT-PCR and techniques for Lilies Virus

Department of Biotechnology
Under the Department of Biotechnology, there are two research task forces, respectively molecular genetics and functional genomics. The Center is mainly involved in the research into genomics of important vegetable crops and bioinformatics, molecular breeding technology of vegetable crops, key cloning and functional analysis of important traits of vegetable crops, as well as metabolomics studies on important quality traits of vegetables.

Research results of cucumber, potato and cabbage genomes published on Nature and Nature Genetics

Vegetable Quality Supervision, Inspection and Testing Center, Ministry of Agriculture (Beijing)
Vegetable Quality Supervision, Inspection and Testing Center, Ministry of Agriculture (Beijing) is authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture as the statutory vegetable quality supervision, inspection and testing agency, and has obtained the National Measurement Accreditation. With a third-party notary nature, it is a law enforcement agency. The Center is supported by the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and is under the leadership of Market and Economic Information Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Technology Management Authority of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science to carry out inspection work independently.
The range of products inspected by the Center include: vegetables and their products, fruits and their products, edible mushrooms, flowers and soil, and testing parameters involved are nutritional quality, mineral elements, micro-organisms, pesticide residues, heavy metals and pollutants. The Center carries out quality supervision and inspection work, including such inspection work ordered by national and local governments, in addition to various departments, as routine testing and inspection of agricultural products, quality random checking, quality inspection, product quality certification and market access, and it also carries out research into detection technologies, quality safety and risk assessment. It also undertakes the formulation, revision and validation of national, industry and local standards. The Center is also engaged in the research into the quality and safety standards of vegetables, fruits, edible mushrooms and their products, as well as the standard formulation of vegetables

Horticulture Journal
Sponsored by China Institute of Horticulture, and supervised by China Association for Science and Technology, Horticulture Journal was founded in 1962, and has been edited by Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences since 1983. Horticulture Journal has been included into many famous domestic and foreign databases and abstract magazines, and its citation frequency and impact are among the top in China’s science and technology journals.

Chinese Vegetables
Founded in 1981, China Vegetables is supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture, edited by the Institute. After 30 years of development, China Vegetables has become the most authoritative technical journal in vegetable industry, and won the 2nd National Journal Award in 2003.

Rendering of Scientific and Technological Achievements, and Industrial Development
According to the developing needs of domestic vegetable and flower industries, the Institute has vigorously carried out the rendering of scientific achievements, technical consultancy, farmers’ training and technological product development. The Institute has established Beijing Zhongshu Horticultual Crop Seed Research and Development Center, Beijing Vegetable and Flower Technology Development Company and other entities, and has fostered Zhonggan cabbage, Zhongshu tomato, Zhongjiao sweet chili, Zhongnong cucumber and other new vegetable series; sped up the conversion of research results; improved the enthusiasm and level of services for farmers; and enhanced the spontaneous ability of the Institute for development.
Seed marketing network

Technical consultancy and farmers training  

International cooperation
The Institute has established a wide range of relations in scientific and technological cooperation and exchanges with agricultural research institutions and universities in more than 20 countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, France, etc., as well as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Potato Center (CIP), and International Center for Biological Diversity. The Institute has set up a “Sino-Dutch Department for Genome Analysis on Horticultural Crops”, and has presided over and completed the international sequencing project of cucumber genome, international sequencing project of potato genome, sequencing project of Chinese cabbage genome, and Sino-Dutch Strategic Alliance Project. It has also participated in the EU Seventh Framework Program, and has cooperated with vegetable and seeding companies such as U.S. Seminis and Japanese TAKII on breeding research into cabbage, tomato and cucumber. International cooperation is a necessary complement to strengthening the independent innovation of the Institute.

Graduate Education
Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences is the first agricultural scientific research institution to offer graduate study on vegetable science. The Institute was granted the right to award Master’s and Doctor’s degrees in 1984 and 1996 respectively, and was approved as a postdoctoral station of horticulture science in 2003. As of the end of 2011, the Institute has 15 doctoral supervisors, 43 master instructors, and has trained 250 graduate students, of which more than 50 received doctor’s degrees. The Institute has trained 13 doctoral students in cooperation with Wageningen University of the Netherlands. Every year, the Institute receives foreign students to pursue graduate study, and receives more than 80 graduate students from domestic and foreign institutions engaging in visiting research.

Innovative Achievements
Our institute has coordinated and participated in a number of national key research programs and ministerial and provincial research projects of “863” high technology program, “973” basic research projects, “948” technology introduction project, national natural science foundation project, international cooperation project etc. More than 220 new vegetable varieties with good quality, high yield and disease resistance have been developed in succession,which have promoted the development of vegetable genetics and breeding in China. By the end of 2011, the institute obtained 173 research accomplishments, of which 17 are from the national government, 47 from different ministries and provincial and municipal governments.