The ICS-IAEA Collaborating Center for Nuclear Techniques in Plant Mutation Breeding starts operation


On November 25, 2019, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Collaborating Center for Nuclear Techniques in Plant Mutation Breeding hosted by Institute of Crop Sciences (ICS), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) (hereinafter referred to as Collaborating Center) was launched. Prof. Hecheng Zhang, Secretary of the Leading Party Group of CAAS, Dr. Tan Sun, the Vice President of CAAS, Ms. Mokhtar Najat, Deputy Director General of IAEA, Mr. Qu Liang, Director of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear in Food and Agriculture, and Ms. Lili Xiao, Deputy Division Chief of Chinese Atomic Energy Agency (CAEA) attended the unveiling ceremony and delivered speeches.

Ms. Mokhtar Najat and Mr. Hecheng Zhang presented the plaque to Prof. Luxiang Liu, who is the Deputy Director of ICS CAAS, Director of the National Center of Space Mutagenesis for Crop Improvement, and member of the steering committee of the Asia Pacific Nuclear Agreement project (RCA PAC). Mokhtar highly praised the achievements of China in the field of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences, she said that the start-up of Collaboration Center marked a new level of strategic partnership between the two sides. Through this platform, the huge potential of nuclear technique will be further unleashed, which will enhance sustainable Agricultural production and benefit the whole Asia Pacific region.

Lili Xiao congratulated the establishment of the Collaborating Center. She said that the National Atomic Energy Agency (CAEA) has always attached great importance to the development of nuclear agricultural sciences, the start-up of the Collaboration Center will fully exert the complementary advantages between China and IAEA in terms of resource, technique, talent and network, and make positive contributions to nuclear agricultural development in developing countries.

Hecheng Zhang pointed out that CAAS has made great progress in the field of nuclear agricultural sciences and techniques with the support and guidance of the IAEA and CAEA, and a good cooperation mechanism with IAEA has established and satisfactory outcomes have been achieved. More than 800 mutation varieties have been officially released in China, which accounts for more than a quarter of the world's total. As a lead country, ICS has undertaken several technical cooperation projects under IAEA Asia Pacific Nuclear Agreement since 2003. By using the updated mutation induction approaches, new mutated green varieties in crops with enhanced resistance and adaptability to local climate changes have been bred. The capabilities of mutation induction talent have been greatly improved, who have providing important technical support for the development of nuclear agricultural sciences in Asia Pacific region. He said that the formal launch and operation of the Collaboration Center will further promote the application of nuclear technique in agriculture in CAAS and even the whole country as well as the Asia Pacific region, which will increase the applications of nuclear agricultural sciences and techniques in agricultural and rural development, and finally enhance global food security.

It is reported that on November 18, 2019, Mr. Huajun Tang, President of CAAS, visited the IAEA headquarters and signed the Collaboration Agreement on CAAS-IAEA Collaboration Center for Nuclear Agricultural Sciences with Ms. Mokhtar Najat. Hao Weiping, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Bureau, leaders and experts from other institutes attended the ceremony.