Affiliation:Hybrid rice research center of hunan province Rice research institute of hunan province The Chinese academy of engineering National hybrid rice engineering technology research center National hybrid rice engineering technology research center of hunan province Hunan academy of agricultural sciences' Agricultural science and technology reward fund Hybrid rice center of hunan
Subject:Crop genetics and breeding
Yuan came upon the original idea of hybrid rice in 1960s, as China plunged into famine, to harness the power of hybrid vigor (heterosis) derived from different varieties. His discovery of a naturally male sterile wild rice plant plus nine years of tireless experimentation achieved in the use of three-line (male sterile, maintainer and restorer) system hybrid rice. After establishing the world's first high-yield hybrid rice in 1973, Yuan began to release hybrid seeds to rice farmers in 1976. Yuan further perfected hybrid rice breeding and production techniques, contributing greatly to the rise of China's total rice output from 56.9 billion kg in 1950 to 194.7 billion kg in 2000. The profound influence of Yuan's breakthrough is evidenced by the successful use of hybrid rice in commercial production in Vietnam, India, Philippines, United States, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, his research institute's training of hundreds of scientists from over 25 countries, and the spreading of Yuan's techniques for hybrid rice to Africa as well as the Americas and throughout Asia. Yuan's leadership worldwide is exemplified by his visit to United States in 1980 and to the International Rice Research Institute in 1979 to share his knowledge with the scientists, his service as the chief consultant of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in 1991, and his leadership of the China National Hybrid Rice R & D Center in combining agricultural and biotechnological advances to improve the grain yield, quality and stress resistance of the super hybrid rice.