Four Chinese breeders were included in the list of 16 prominent women plant breeders worldwide hailed by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) earlier March.
These four scientists are Tan Qi, Niu Qingjie, Wang Lirong and Zhong Caihong. The UPOV website appraised their accomplishments in the breeding of edible fungi, sunflower, flat peaches and kiwfruit, respectively.
Dr. Tan Qi is a well-known Chinese specialist on Lentinula edodes breeding. This type of mushroom is commonly known as “Shiitake.” Tan has dedicated herself to L. edodes since 1990s and bred new varieties of L. edodes called “Shenxiang.” Dr. Tan is currently Vice President of the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS) and chairman of the World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products.
Prof. Niu Jieqing, a research fellow at the Jilin Sunflower Research Institute, has bred three sunflower hybrid varieties, namely JK102, JK103 and JK108. The plant acreage of JK108’s represents 30% of total sunflower acreage in China due to its excellent commercial properties and outstanding high yield and stress resistance.
Prof. Wang Lirong, deputy director of the Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, has bred more than 10 novel varieties, including flat peach and nectarine varieties. Among them, “Zhong pantao 11” and “Zhong youtao 9” are the most planted flat peach varieties and nectarine varieties in China respectively.
Prof. Zhong Caihong has bred 35 new varieties of kiwirruit, 16 of which have gained plant variety rights from Chinese authority. The “Donghong” variety has been certified with plant variety right from the Community Plant Variety Office of the European Union (CPVO) and is going through procedures of application for plant variety rights in more than 10 countries and regions. Prof. Zhong is serving as the chief scientist for the Kiwifruit Research Center of the Wuhan Botanical Garden.