Super hybrid rice: a glorious chapter in the history of human anti-hunger

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 Super hybrid rice: a glorious chapter in the history of human anti-hunger


Our reporter Yu Huiyou

Although todays super hybrid rice technology in China attracts great attention, the process of tackling key problems, like other scientific research, is inevitablybeatenandwrong way. Recently, in face-to-face exchanges with Xie Changjiang, former Secretary of the Party Committee of Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center, he gave friendship tips to reporters of Science and Technology Daily.

In the history of world science and technology development, one technology in China has attracted much attention, that is, Super Hybrid Rice technology. It is the national treasure to ensure national food security and the heavy weapon to solve the problem of eating for more than one billion people. For this reason, the super hybrid rice technology has been fully popular and widely praised. However, as Xie Changjiang said, what we need to see is not only the scenery, but also the bitter head behind it.

Daring to Break and Stand Up: Writing Outstanding Papers across the Forbidden Areas of Theory

In 1956, in response to the call of the state, Yuan Longping, then a teacher of Anjiang Agricultural School in Huaihua, Hunan Province, began his scientific research career.

Helplessly researching depth of water, he just launched was misled by the then Soviet biologist asexual hybridization theory, and took a detour for several years. It was not until 1960 that Mendels and Morgans genetic theories were used as the basis for the selection of research directions for hybrid rice.

For systematic breeding, large ears should be selected. Every year, from heading to maturity, I go to the fields to select seeds. Yuan Longping recalled. One day in July 1961, he found a full-grained rice plant with more than 10 8-inch panicles growing like a waterfall. Because of the Heli chicken flock, Yuan Longping thought he had found a good breed and carefully labeled and nurtured it, expecting a big increase in the yield test next year.

How do you know that the next year, he was full of expectations of good seeds, but the heading is uneven.

I was very frustrated, sitting on the ridge, staring at the rice plant and wondering what to do. Yuan Longping said.

In his daze, he suddenly came to inspiration: self-pollinated rice, the emergence of hybrid offspring only separation phenomenon, whether it means that self-pollinated crops also have heterosis? He quickly recorded and repeatedly counted the uneven proportion of rice panicles. 3:1! It fully conforms to Mendels separation law! Yuan Longping was very excited: the Heli Chicken Group plant he chose was indeed a natural hybrid rice! There may indeed be heterosis in rice.

Although the academic circles at that time generally denied the existence of rice heterosis, Yuan Longping still firmly believed that seeing is believing.

Seeking truth from facts is an attitude of learning. Yuan Longping said. To this end, he took his wife and students together to find his predicted male sterile rice plants. After breakfast, they go to the fields, take two steamed buns for lunch, and go home at 4 p.m., which is their daily life.

In the field, the upper part of the body is sunbathed and very hot. The legs were soaked in the cold water of the field, very cold (there were no paddy shoes at that time). Every day in thousands, tens of thousands of Rice Panicles to find, it is really a haystack needle. Yuan Longping described it. In 1964 and 1965 alone, they inspected hundreds of thousands of rice panicles, repeated experiments and accumulation, and finally laid the foundation for the glorious paper Male Sterility of Rice in the history of hybrid rice in the world.

In 1967, China established the Rice Male Sterility Research Group. Among them, an important work is to cultivate male sterile line materials. By 1969, more than 3000 hybrid combinations of three cultivated rice male sterile plants with nearly 1,000 varieties and materials were conducted, and male sterile materials were selected, but ideal male sterile lines were still not bred. Yuan Longping said. Since then, in 1970, Hunan Province organized the Rice Sterility Research Cooperative Group to continue to tackle key problems and expand the formation of a nationwide large-scale collaborative research. Finally, the three-line hybrid rice method was successful.

On June 6, 1981, the first prize for invention in New China was awarded to the National Indica Hybrid Rice Research Cooperation Group.

Stick to it: Creating the two-system law and risking the disaster of extinction

In 2014, Beijing Great Hall of the People, Super Hybrid Rice was awarded the National Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress in 2013. This time, it is because of Chinas original two-system law.

Two-line hybrid rice technology suffered serious setbacks in the midsummer of 1989 under low temperature, and was almost totally negated. Yuan Longpings life-and-death battle for scientific research technology in his scientific research career has always been in his mind.

The so-called two-line hybrid rice is a breeding technology based on a photothermo-sensitive male sterile line. Compared with the three-line method, the photo-thermo-sensitive sterile line as the mother acts as both the sterile line and the maintainer line. In other words, hybrid rice breeding has developed from monogamy to monogamy.

However, at the beginning of this study, researchers had not fully grasped the fertility conversion habits of this mother. Until 1989, a rare low temperature appeared in Midsummer in China, which made researchers have a deeper understanding of the fertility conversion of this mother. In this low temperature, the mother began to feel uneasy and switch abnormally between the roles of the infertility department and the maintenance department, which eventually led to a large-scale failure of the two-system legal system in the country.

When most people want to abandon this unreliable research, Yuan Longping and the important members of the cooperative group are under tremendous pressure to find out the reasons, adjust the technical strategy of breeding male sterile lines, and finally find the critical temperature point leading to male sterility, and solve the drift of the critical temperature in the process of reproduction of male sterile lines. Questions. Only in this way can two-line breeding become a major breakthrough in the history of crop breeding in the world, and the research level of hybrid rice in China continue to lead the world.

Life and Death Fighting: Chinas Hybrid Rice Technology Towards the World

In 1979, Yuan Longping was invited to the Philippines to attend the international academic conference and give a report. This is the first time that China has publicly reported the results of hybrid rice research to the international community. Since then, Chinas hybrid rice began to enter the world.

In the rice Laboratory of the Central Institute of Agriculture of Myanmar, I work in the fields with my students. Because Burmese believe in Buddhism and do not kill, cobras are everywhere in the paddy fields. Once, eight little cobras flew out of the drawer, and I still have palpitations. In the tropical rainforest, we still have to fight the bloodsucking locusts in the dry land... Yuan Longping said.

Most people do not know that the behind the scenes of Chinese hybrid rice towards the international market is so thrilling. But Chinese scientists have continued to move forward and never stopped.

Yang Yaosong is one of the practitioners and witnesses of the Global Dream of Hybrid Rice Coverage in China.

In March 2007, as a member of the Group of Experts, he rushed to Madagascar with severe abdominal pain before boarding the plane. Boarding or re-signing? He quickly made the choice: boarding the plane. Eventually, he lay flat on the floor beside his seat and lay down in Madagascar. Today, from American farms to tropical rainforests in Myanmar and the Philippines, from the Indian Plateau to the African prairie... They all have the aroma of hybrid rice. Hybrid rice has been successfully demonstrated in more than 40 countries along Asia, Africa and along the way, and has been widely promoted in more than 10 countries. Chinese scientists have written a glorious page in the history of human anti-hunger. (Xin Yeyun, a researcher of Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center, made important contributions to the manuscript.) Source of this paper: Responsible Editor of Science and Technology Daily: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541

In March 2007, as a member of the Group of Experts, he rushed to Madagascar with severe abdominal pain before boarding the plane. Boarding or re-signing? He quickly made the choice: boarding the plane. Eventually, he lay flat on the floor beside his seat and lay down in Madagascar.

Today, from American farms to tropical rainforests in Myanmar and the Philippines, from the Indian Plateau to the African prairie... They all have the aroma of hybrid rice. Hybrid rice has been successfully demonstrated in more than 40 countries along Asia, Africa and along the way, and has been widely promoted in more than 10 countries.

Chinese scientists have written a glorious page in the history of human anti-hunger.

(Researcher Xin Yeyun, Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center, made important contributions to the manuscript.)