“Yunnan Special Rhododendron Germplasm Resource Utilization......” Won the First Prize of Award for Progress in Science and Technology of Yunnan Province

Project Name: Yunnan Special Rhododendron Germplasm Resource Utilization & Key Industrialization Technology and its Application
Main Investigator: ZHANG Changqin, LI Fenyong, LIU Guoqiang, GAO Lianming, ZHANG Jingli, MA Yongpeng, PI Qiuxia, QIAN Xiaojiang, WANG Nian, TIAN Wei, SHEN Min, SUN Yuhong
Main Participant Unit: KIB Yunnan Yuanyi Horticulture Engineering Co., Ltd.
Recommendation Unit: Kunming Branch Chinese Academy of Sciences
Major technology innovations, promotion applications and results of the Project:
Yunnan has abundant rhododendron resource. However, most species that have been put into commodity production are from foreign countries and therefore, are severely restricted by foreign companies in the formation and sustainable development of Yunnan Province’s rhododendron industry. This is largely due to the high cost for species introduction and a lack of independent intellectual property right. Taking Yunnan special rhododendron as the object for research with the goal of improving the independent innovation ability and industrial level of our province’s rhododendron industry, this project has made breakthroughs in comprehensive germplasm assessment, superior germplasm seeking, genetic foundation establishment, efficient breeding formation and its matched standard production technology system through the systematic research and development for nearly 20 years on the basis of the implementation of optional projects as well as three subjects at the state and provincial level. It has cultivated 6 new species with independent intellectual property rights, obtained 5 national invention patents, formulated 2 industry standards (which have been issued), published 16 research papers (5 of which are included in SCI) as well as 3 monographs, and won the third prize for provincial science invention on two occasions. Its major technology breakthroughs are as follows:
1. Wild resources naturalization, superior germplasm seeking and key parent plant screening. It has successfully naturalized and cultivated 246 species of rhododendron germplasm, including over 50% rhododendron species originated from China and over 60% from Yunnan. Moreover, it has established a sound technology system for germplasm assessment and has screened 169 superior germplasm and more than 46 key parent plants for breeding.
2. Genetic foundation establishment, breeding system improvement and superior new species cultivation. It has set up a perfect technology system for the rhododendron seed selection of new natural hybrid variety and efficient distant crossbreeding to raise the seed setting rate and shorten the breeding cycle. What’s more, it has built a mutant and seedling screening and breeding system and has cultivated the Chinese first batch (6) of rhododendron species with independent property rights, therefore filling the gap in high mountain rhododendron breeding in China.
3. Seedling breeding and cultivation Innovation, production technology innovation and industry upgrade. The project has invented a series of technologies in rhododendron floating breeding to effectively solve the problem in sowing micro-seeds evenly, fundamentally avoid the soil-borne diseases in the seedling stage and reduce the influence from the inferior environment to the seedlings. It has adopted the rhododendron filed cultivation technology to increase the shooting rate from 1 time per year to 3 times yearly. Besides, it has invented the rhododendron forcing culture technology to reduce the flowering time of Rhododendron delavayi from 9 years in the 1980s to 4 years and that of new species of rhododendron from 4 to 5 years to 2 to 3 years.
4. Effective demonstrative promotion and notable economic and social benefits. The project has popularized 36 hectares of demonstrative land, produced 1.05 million superior seedlings with an accumulated production value increase of 110 million yuan, a new profit increase of 15.042 million yuan, a new tax revenue increase of 6.87 million yuan and a total expenditure cut of 3 million yuan. The project demonstration has notable radiation effects and great economic and social benefits.

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