Agricultural Genetic Resources Center
The Center for Agricultural Genetic Resources Research at Shanxi Agricultural University（hereinafter referred to as CAGRR）was initially established in 1979,preceded by the Research Office of Crop Germplasm Resources and Institute of Crop Germplasm Resources at Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In June, 2020, after the merger of Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Shanxi Agricultural University, the institute was named The Center for Agricultural Genetic Resources at Shanxi Agricultural University. The major research directions of CAGRR are collection, conservation, evaluation, and utilization of crop germplasm resources, as well as driving new germplasm and material innovation. CAGRR is not only the first provincial crop germplasm resources institute in China, but also the only crop germplasm resources institute in the loess plateau area. Minor crops in Shanxi are the research objects of CAGRR.
CAGRR now has 47 staff members, including 8 senior researchers, 13 associate researchers, 11 researchers with doctoral degrees, 15 researchers with master’s degrees, 6 PhD candidates and 12 master supervisors. Some researchers are national and provincial experts, including 3 national level experts of National Modern Agricultural Technology System and 3 provincial level experts of Shanxi Modern Agricultural Technology System. Researchers under 40 account for 40% of the total.
CAGRR is composed of 7 research teams. The crop germplasm research team is dedicated to collection, preservation, identification and utilization of crop germplasm resources. The other 6 teams study soybean, oat and buckwheat, millet and broomcorn millet, edible beans, maize and wheat respectively. They work on the evaluation and innovation of crop germplasm resources and breeding of new varieties. CAGRR has undertaken a number of projects on both national and provincial levels, such as National Natural Science Foundation, National Key Technology Research and Development Program, National Germplasm Resources Conservation Program, and Fundamental Condition Platform of National Science and Technology.
CAGRR now has 10 national and provincial technical platforms. Minor Crops Research Center(Taiyuan) is sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Key Laboratory of Crop Gene Resources and Germplasm Enhancement on Loess Plateau is sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture. National Crop Germplasm Resources Infrastructure(Shanxi) and National Crop Germplasm Resources Infrastructure(Panicum miliaceum L.) are sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Shanxi Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Genetic Improvement of Minor Crops, Shanxi Crop Germplasm Resources Sharing Service Platform and Shanxi Key Sci-tech Innovation Platform of Crop Germplasm Enhancement and Molecular Breeding are sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology of Shanxi Province. Shanxi Academic Workstation of Soybean Heterosis Research & Utilization is sponsored by the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Shanxi Province. Shanxi Crop Germplasm Conservation and Utilization Center is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture of Shanxi Province. CAGRR is also one of the Shanxi Science Education Bases.
CAGRR has the only medium-term gene bank in Shanxi Province, which was named Shanxi Gene Bank in 1988. Shanxi Gene Bank occupies an area of 300㎡. More than 70 thousand accessions of crop germplasm resources are stored here, covering 35 species. Some accessions are scarce in China, such as the velvet beans, big white kidney beans and small white kidney beans. Shanxi Gene Bank has offered 20 thousand accessions to universities, institutes and seed enterprises for basic research and breeding new varieties. With an area of 2000㎡and 164 laboratory apparatuses which are worth 4.4 million US dollars, the laboratory of CAGRR is focused on identification, enhancement and gene mining of crop germplasm resources. CAGRR also has 60 ha of experiment base in prefectures like Jinzhong, Datong, Xinzhou and Yangquan of Shanxi as well as Sanya of Hainan Province.
CAGRR has achieved major progress in the basic and applied basic research on crop germplasm resources, crop cultivation and physiology, crop molecular biology, crop genetics and breeding while also producing a number of scientific and innovative achievements. In the last four decades, CAGRR has won 74 national and provincial awards, bred 90 varieties, received 38 national patents, set 24 local standards, and published more than 400 academic papers and 42 books. In 2003, the project Crop Germplasm Resources Collection, Conservation, Evaluation and Utilization in China, declared by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, won the first place prize for the National Scientific and Technological Progress Award. CAGRR made a significant contribution to the prize. CAGRR has been honored with the titles of“Model Institute”,“Advanced Institute in Scientific and Technological Innovation”,“Advanced Unit in Building Peaceful Work Environment”, and“Advanced Grass-roots CPC organization”for many times since 1984. In 2003 and 2019, Labor Union of Shanxi Agriculture, Forestry and Water Resources appraised CAGRR as an“Advanced Unit of Harmonious Working Environment”and “Home of the workers”respectively. Between 2013 and 2019, CAGRR was honored as“Provincial Civilized Unit”. In 2020, CAGRR was honored as“Provincial Model Civilized Unit”, which is the top rank of the accolade.