Chinese Society of Nuclear Agriculture Sciences Releases Top 10 Scientific Research Advances in China in 2019


On August 7, 2020, Chinese Society of Nuclear Agriculture Sciences released new developments in 2019 in China, including the large area application of new mutant wheat variety Luyuan 502, the new mutant rice variety with low cadmium accumulation, the stable isotope database of milk, identification of agricultural non-point source pollutants, the standards of irradiation processing on agricultural products, etc.

Prof. Luxiang Liu, Deputy Director General of Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, President of Chinese Society of of Nuclear Agriculture Sciences, said that the application of nuclear technology in agriculture has become an important driving force and has been playing an irreplaceable role for promoting agriculture development. China has long been the leading country of plant mutation breeding projects in Asia Pacific Region of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and has made remarkable achievements in the creation of crop mutant germplasm resources, cultivation and application of new mutant varieties. Based on the latest achievements in areas such as crop mutant varieties, nuclide assisted food traceability and ecological environment management, agricultural product irradiation processing standardization, etc. Through the process of preliminary selection, academic review and recommendation, ten items were finally nominated, which can fully represent the main progresses of agricultural application of nuclear technology in China in 2019.

"We hope the release of the top 10 scientific progress in nuclear agriculture will promote the further application of nuclear technology in Chinese agriculture and accelerate the upgrading and modernization of traditional agriculture." Prof Liu said.

The list is in no particular order of importance.

1. Wide adaptability, high productivity and stable yield new wheat mutant variety Luyuan 502 in large scale application. Through combination of space mutagenesis and conventional breeding, Luyuan 502 was bred by Institute of Atomic Energy Agricultural Application, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It solved the practical problem of wheat variety with heavy spikes being prone to lodging during wheat production. With a yield potential of more than 12 t/ha, it has been officially released by national and other 4 provincial committees, and has been planted on over 5.13 million hectares by 2019. It is now the second big wheat variety in China. It has been awarded the First Award of Shandong Provincial Science and Technology Progress in 2018 and the Second Award of National Science and Technology Progress in 2019.

2. The Yangfumai series mutant wheats contribute to the replacement of high-yielding soft wheat varieties. The series of varieties are bred by Lixiahe Regional Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Jiangsu Province. It integrates mutation induction, conventional breeding, and marker-assisted selection and establishes a high-efficient wheat breeding method. New wheat germplasm resistant to fusarium head blight and yellow mosaic virus were developed using the innovated approach, and new mutant varieties of Yangfumai No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 have been bred and officially released. The varieties have been planted on over 2 million hectares in the Middle and Low Yangtze Valleys Winter Wheat Region of China. It was awarded the Second Award of Jiangsu Science and Technology Progress in 2019.

3. Combined utilization of nuclear radiation mutagenesis and heterosis between Indica and Japonica rice makes a new progress. Sichuan Institute of Atomic Energy has developed a new approach which combines nuclear radiation mutagenesis and heterosis between Indica and Japonica rice. By using the approach, a new rice germplasm D069 with high restoring and combining ability and good disease resistance, has been created, three new varieties including ⅡyouD069 have been bred. The three new inter-subspecies hybrid rice varieties with high yield and disease resistance, have been planted in southwest China for nearly 1 million hectares, and they were awarded the Second Award of Sichuan Science and Technology Progress in 2019.

4. Mutation breeding makes a breakthrough in the development of new rice varieties with lower cadmium accumulation. Institute of Nuclear Agriculture Sciences and Space Mutagenesis Breeding, Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences has established new approaches by using high-energy electron accelerator radiation and a sharing platform of nuclear mutation breeding in rice. There were 22 new mutant germplasm and a new two-line hybrid rice variety CLiangyou 266 with low cadmium accumulation were developed and the variety was planted on over 0.31 million hectares. It was awarded the Second Award of Hunan Science and Technology Progress in 2019.

5. The first stable isotope database of milk in China is established. The database is developed by the Institute of Agricultural Quality Standards and Testing Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It contains the carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope data of milk as well as feed and drinking water, which covers 4 major milk source zones in 10 main producing provinces. The stable isotope fractionation mechanism was studied from the perspective of feeding mode, season and lactation period. This work was funded by the IAEA TC project “Implementing the Stable Isotope Technique for High Quality Agro-product Traceability and Authenticity”(CPR5022)and the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2015DFG31890). Two articles elaborating milk traceability by stable isotopes were published in《Food Chemistry》

6. Identification of agricultural non-point source pollutants by using multi-isotope technique. The study was conducted by Institute of Agricultural Environment and Sustainable Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Against the background of large area of intensive farmland in northern China where is main production area of wheat and corn in China, the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as rural household waste, are the environmental problems in this region. It was unclear how did the surface water quality response to large scale of intensive agricultural activities in northern China. Integrative utilization of fallout environmental radioactive nuclides (FRNs), compound specific stable isotope (CSSI) and other stable isotope (δ18O, δ2H, δ15N-NO3- and δ18O- NO3- ) techniques, achieved the quantitative identification of the sources of nitrogen (N) pollutant in the surface water and sediment under different land use or specific vegetation types at an agricultural watershed. The multi-isotope technique can identify more accurately the sources and transport routes of sediment and associated pollutants linking processes of erosion to sedimentation and water body caused by land management and human-driven climate changes in watershed scale.

7. The Plant Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region has been launched. The First Meeting of the Plant Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region was held in Jingzhou, Hubei, China from July 22 to 25, 2019. Representatives from 13 different countries including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, two observers from Cuba and Senegalese respectively, and two international organizations, FAO/IAEA and ICRISAT as well as domestic breeders and researchers attended the workshop. The workshop formed a “Jingzhou Proposal” on Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region. It is agreed that three countries including China, Indonesia and India plus FAO/IAEA Joint Division would steer the Network with 2-year rotations, and the current Chair is China.

8. CAAS-IAEA Collaborating Center has been officially started up. The Center was set up in Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and it’s institutions in December 2019, which aims to promote international cooperation and enhance capabilities of nuclear technique utilization in Agriculture. It consists five centers hosted by different institutions --- the Collaborating Center for Nuclear Techniques in Plant Mutation Breeding, the Collaborating Center for Nuclear Technique in Land and Water Management, the Collaborating Center for Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response in Agriculture, the Collaborating Center for Nuclear Techniques in Food Safety and Quality, and the Collaborating Center for Nuclear Techniques in Diagnosis and Control of Animal and Zoonotic Diseases.

9. The popularization of science book "50 Science Popularization Questions of Irradiated Food" was published. The book was written by Ms. Meixu Gao et al., Institute of Agricultural Products Processing, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Through 50 questions and answers, the authors answer the public's doubts about irradiation and nuclear technology and firstly make it easy to understand. It helps consumers and managers better understanding the application of irradiation technology in food processing and safety.

10. The monograph on irradiation standards "Irradiation Processing and Standardization of Agricultural Products" was published. The book was written by Mr. Chunquan Liu,et al., professor of Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Its contents include the principles of irradiation technology, irradiation equipments and their operation, irradiation application fields, domestic and foreign status and needs of irradiation standards. It is the first monograph in China that takes standardization as the penetration point and explains the standardization of irradiation processing.