AsianScientist (May 17, 2012) – A joint CAS-JIC Center of Excellence for plant and microbial research is planned in China between researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the John Innes Center.
At a symposium in Shanghai, members of both organizations highlighted the challenges for plant science as well as shared scientific goals to achieve food security in the future.
The JIC and the CAS Institutes share strengths in crop genomics and in understanding how plants and microbes produce natural products. Over the past thirty years, more than 100 JIC alumni have taken on academic positions in China, including three Academicians at CAS.
Building on these relations, the JIC and CAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2011 to combine their strengths in the areas of food security, sustainable agriculture, and healthy living.
It is envisaged that the Center of Excellence will run joint research programs, overseen by CAS and JIC scientists, focused on producing new rationally-designed varieties of ‘future-proofed’ wheat and rice, two of the world’s most important crops.
The center will focus on designing crop plants with improved performance and yield, while reducing reliance on inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. As natural factories of the future, these crop plants may also be grown to produce pharmaceuticals and plastics.
Profs Giles Oldroyd and Dale Sanders from JIC also met in Beijing with Prof Jiayang Li, President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Vice Minister of Agriculture, and Yaping Zhang, Vice President of CAS, to discuss future collaborations and routes to the establishment of the joint center.
Source: John Innes Center.
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