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Prof. Zhang Xianlong Wins the First Prize of XPCC Award for Progress in Science and Technology

On September 26, the General Office of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) released the results of 2022 XPCC Award for Progress in Science and Technology. As the first person in charge, Prof. Zhang Xianlong’s project “High Quality and Drought Resistant Cotton Germplasm Innovation and Breeding Application” won the first prize. This project was led by Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural and Reclamation Science (XAARS), with the participation of Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU), Shihezi Academy of Agricultural Science, and Shihezi University (SHZU).
Xinjiang is the largest cotton growing area in China, contributing 90% of China's cotton production capacity. However, the low production capacity and the shortage of water  have seriously affected the development of the cotton industry in Xinjiang. To address these key issues, Prof. Zhang and researchers of XAARS and SHZU spent 15 years to tackle the problem. They started from the development of molecular markers and QTL localization, the utilization and innovation of germplasm identification, and new variety breeding and their promotion, and created more than 1,800 new germplasm through interspecies hybridization, breaking the bottleneck of the genetic base of upland cotton. They used high-throughput phenotypic platform screening, and large-scale field identification combined with molecular marker precision selection to screen 53 high-quality germplasm. A number of extreme drought-resistant germplasm with 50% water reduction per water supply point without yield reduction were identified, and drought-resistant germplasm with more than 20% increase in water utilization rate was found. With these excellent germplasms as the key parents, through polymeric hybridization and high-quality drought-resistant marker-assisted selection, the team bred 4 new cotton varieties, including Jinken 1161. And they have been planted on 280,000 hectares of land in the past three years. Thanks to their efforts, the goal of synergistic improvement of high-yield, high-quality and drought-resistant cotton varieties in Xinjiang has been achieved, providing varieties and technical support for cotton production in Xinjiang.

Plant Biotechnology Journal,2020; Crop Journal,2020; Theor Appli Genet 2022

Large-scale identification of cotton germplasm resources and marker aggregation of excellent resources (Plant Biotechnology Journal,2020; Crop Journal,2020; Theor Appli Genet 2022)

Ginken 1161 saves 20% of water and basically keeps the yield

Four new cotton varieties with high drought-resistant capacity

The project combined the regional breeding advantages of the XAARS and other institutions with the resource innovation and molecular breeding technology advantages of HZAU, creating a science and technology research paradigm, combining advantageous institutions, resource sharing, base construction and talents cooperation. Its achievements include 8 invention patents, 24 published papers, 8 trained doctorates for XPCC, who has grown into young leading scientists for local cotton scientific research. Resource creation, variety cultivation and talent training have provided strong support for the biological breeding and high-quality development of cotton industry in Xinjiang.


Translated by Fu Shipeng
Proofread by Dong Wenli