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China unveils 10 most significant advances in agricultural science

(Xinhua) 14:23, November 19, 2021

BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- China has released the country's 10 most significant advances in agricultural science in 2020 at a conference introducing the country's development of science and technology in agriculture and rural areas in Beijing Friday.

The advances cover the molecular regulation mechanism of high-yield crops, mechanism of crop disease resistance and susceptibility of domestic livestock and poultry to SARS-CoV-2, among others.

Chinese researchers identified a gene NGR5 and found rising NGR5 levels can increase rice tillering and yield without more nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

In another study, researchers investigated the susceptibility of ferrets and animals in close contact with humans to SARS-CoV-2. They found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but ferrets and cats are permissive to infection.

A research team from the Shandong Agricultural University cloned Fhb7. This gene shows a stable large resistance effect on fusarium head blight, a disease caused by a fungus that reduces wheat crop yield and introduces toxins into the harvest.

The team revealed its resistance mechanisms and evolutionary history. The deployment of Fhb7 in commercial wheat cultivars could alleviate yield loss and food safety concerns.

Other selected advances include studies in intercropping, the simultaneous production of multiple crops on the same field, haplotype-resolved genome analyses of a heterozygous diploid potato, construction of high-quality graph-based soybean genome and causes of legumes' symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia.

A report on the country's science and technology development in agriculture and rural areas during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) was also released at the conference. 

(Web editor: Shi Xi, Liang Jun)

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