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Zhu Yingguo: the academician in the farmland
Author:Shen Yuxi  Date:2017-09-06  Clicks:

 

On August 9th, Zhu Yingguo, the academician of CAE (the Chinese Academy of Engineering) passed away in Wuhan at the age of 78.

Zhu Yingguo, born in 1939, served as a professor and doctorate supervisor of School of Life Science in Wuhan University. As a renowned geneticist and rice biologist, Zhu pioneered hybrid rice research and laid the foundation of studies in this field. His research fruit – “Honglian Rice”, which is on a par with Yuan Longping’s “WA Rice”, has gained international recognition with its high genetic diversity, wide cross selectivity and good comprehensive characters. This type of hybrid rice, together with some other new types cultivated by Zhu Yingguo have been popularized and widely applied in rice growing, benefiting more than 500 million farmers. Moreover, Zhu undertook a great number of “863” Program (the National High Technology Research and Development Program), “973” Program (the National Basic Research Program of China), the National Scientific and Technological Brainstorm Project and so on. His work, both theoretically and practically has made remarkable contributions to the national food security, the innovation on hybrid rice germplasm and the cultivation of biotech talents.

Outstanding and accomplished as he was, Zhu Yingguo appeared to be more like a diligent farmer in the land. His dirt-stained trousers and his silhouette always on the run brought him the title of “academician in the farmland” and “the migrant bird for rice”. Indeed, he was like a migrant bird that kept travelling across his beloved motherland for hybrid rice research, regardless of the difficulties along the way. His dedication to the land had taken root in his heart since he was a little child. As the son of farmer, he was clear-headed about the sufferings and hardships of farmers, so he wanted to help them out of poverty and hunger. He had made it. His hybrid rice has dramatically benefited the people and safeguarded the nation’s food security with its high yield.

Zhu Yingguo was also a thoughtful teacher. According to Zhu’s doctoral student Luo Xiaoyun, the time with Zhu makes him better understand the essence of “a teacher for a day is a father for a lifetime. “He was concerned with not only the food security of the nation, but also the development of us, his students”, said Luo. Zhu attached great importance to his hybrid rice business as well as the research team building. Just as what he said to his student, “your generation is the backbone of our country, and you ought to take the responsibility of safeguarding the food security of our nation”. Indeed, it has always been Zhu’s dream that there should be qualified successors to continue rice cultivation business.

Zhu Yingguo devoted himself to the land, the people and the nation till the last minute of his life. Though he had departed, his spirits will be forever etched in our memory and encourage the inheritors.

 

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