“Nurture” the new future of modern agriculture

2022-05-27 0 By

On February 16, the weather was freezing, drilling into uniair Biotechnology Co., Ltd. is located in weifang National Agricultural open development comprehensive experimental Zone (hereinafter referred to as “Weifang National agricultural comprehensive zone”) of the national modern agricultural industrial park in the experimental greenhouse, the reporter has a different feeling.Not just because of the heat in the shed, but also because of life and hope: nearly 7,000 watermelon breeding materials are thriving, with more than 200 cross-breeding combinations from 101 parents, any one of which could be the next big thing.Kim Byung-kyu, director of the Key Laboratory of Plant Genome and Molecular Breeding of Unel, and several young breeding researchers are busy working, observing and recording.Seed is located in the most front end of agricultural industry chain, known as the “chip” of agriculture.A seed is related to national food security and people’s “rice bag”, “vegetable basket” and “fruit plate”.As the only state-level comprehensive experimental zone featuring agriculture, weifang National Comprehensive Agricultural Zone is one of the construction objectives to become the national agricultural science and technology innovation pilot zone.Cultivating a batch of new varieties with independent intellectual property rights is one of the important contents.”There is no shortcut to breeding, no matter how hard it is, we have to persevere.” From the laboratory full of equipment to the experimental shed where breeding materials are grown, Kim has always been working at two points and one line. This Spring Festival, he also spent time in the laboratory and the shed.”There are no holidays in agriculture and breeding.”Jin Bingkui said the breeding process, in addition to like farmers to do a good job in daily management, more detailed understanding and mastering the whole life cycle of every plant material growth, from the root, stem and leaf to fruit size, thickness, shape, development time, a plant life to record more than 400 characters, and at the same time to carry out a large number of relevant experiments, assisted breeding by molecular technology.In the experimental shed, the breeding material, which was planted in November last year, is now ready for pollination.Which strains will cross with which, and which will self-cross?Although each plant was assigned its own number, Kim and his team came up with the clever idea of tying different colored ribbons to each plant to make it easier to identify and prevent mistakes.With a clear marker, pollination is not easy.”They don’t all flower on the same day, each plant has its own personality, and you have to stay in the shed and watch them every day.”To prevent non-target pollen from mixing in, male and female flowers need to be covered with “small paper hats” every day before the sun comes out and the flowers are still in bloom, Kim said.Pollination takes place between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.After that, continue to observe whether the fruit is successful.This is just a drop in the bucket in the breeding process.”Breeding is a long and slow job.”Last fall, the first generation of breeding materials planted by Mr. Kim and his team failed to grow properly due to successive rainy days and had to be replanted for more than half a year.”There is no shortcut to breeding, you have to go step by step, no matter how hard or tired you have to persevere.”Kim said that conventional breeding takes about eight to 10 years, but through molecular assisted breeding, they not only improved the probability of producing the target variety, but also cut the breeding period by about half.One row of watermelon breeding materials planted in the “Forward-thinking, Better Breeding” experimental shed was particularly cared for by Kim, and they were much shorter than other breeding materials.”Ordinary ones grow to more than two meters high, with side branches underneath and have to be cleaned every two or three days.But this kind of dwarf does not need the side branch arrangement, the farmer can save more than 1,000 yuan per mu of land a crop of melon.”Kim said.Close to the experimental shed nursery shed, the reporter saw that some watermelon seedlings are grafted with pumpkin.This is because watermelons are not resistant to soil-borne diseases and have to use pumpkin roots, Mr. Kim said.Now, they are breeding disease-resistant varieties of watermelon. If successful, farmers can simply plant seeds without buying grafting plants, saving 1 yuan per plant, or 2,000 yuan per mu of land, and saving more than 20 days of slow seedling time.Kim and his team also pay close attention to the consumer market.Consider not only size, color, taste, but also nutritional value.They are breeding functional watermelon varieties rich in cis-lycopene, carotenoids and other nutrients to meet the needs of consumers with high quality and characteristics.”Watermelons account for 10 percent of China’s fruit and vegetable industry, with high per capita consumption.However, some high-quality seedlings are still dependent on imports, so we cannot stop the pace of scientific research, must be based on forward-looking, transcendent, continuous innovation, do better breeding, strengthen the seed industry to meet the rising consumer demand.”Kim said.Germplasm resources are the basic materials and the basis of breeding.”Only if you have as many germplasm resources as possible, can you select and combine them to increase the chances of producing good seeds.”Mr. Kim said the company collects germplasm resources extensively through various channels.At present, nearly 2,000 watermelon germplasm resources are stored in the germplasm bank of the enterprise.”These watermelon genus materials show great phenotypic and genetic diversity, providing valuable resources for tapping into unique qualities such as improving nutrient content and resistance to biological and abiotic stresses in watermelon varieties.”Kim said.”On the road of scientific research, we are not fighting by ourselves” Enterprises are the main body of breeding innovation, but the power of a single enterprise is limited.Take Unair as an example, although the company expands the strength of scientific research personnel every year, high-level and high-level breeding talents are still lacking.”But we are not fighting this battle on our own.”Kim said.By virtue of its own advantages, Unair has carried out cooperation with foreign scientific research institutions, and established joint laboratories, academician workstations and other scientific research institutions.”In this way, enterprises can not only timely understand the international advanced breeding technology, but also give full play to the advantages of all parties to jointly carry out breeding research.”Kim said.In weifang national agribusiness district, modern agricultural research institute of Beijing university, Chinese academy of agricultural sciences’ institute of food science and processing technology, weifang national modern vegetable seed industry innovation entrepreneurship base, international research and development of seed industry cluster areas such as operating platform built “state”, set up 36 agricultural academician workstation, the international high-end elements resources in this piece of fertile land open cluster.For now, Mr. Jin said, they are discussing a collaboration with the Institute of Modern Agriculture at Peking University to speed up the breeding process with its powerful technical support.”At present, nearly 30 foreign breeding r&d enterprises are interested in entering the international seed industry R&D cluster.”Related person in charge of Weifang National Agricultural comprehensive Zone promotion office said, the international seed industry RESEARCH and development center is speeding up the construction, after the completion of enterprises can enter, covers an area of 200 mu of Dutch style high-end greenhouse has been built and put into use, can be used for new varieties testing, screening, display.These high-end platforms, the arrival of well-known enterprises, so that Kim Bingkyu saw more opportunities.”Peer companies are not competitors, but can let us see our shortcomings, and we can grow together through sharing and communication.”He said that by taking advantage of the talents and technologies of the “core” platform, he believed that there would be more breakthroughs and achievements and “nurture” a brand new future.(Source: Dazhong Daily)