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Yuan Longping plans mass production of sea-rice in Qingdao, October 18, 2016 Print  E-mail

Yuan Longping, renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice, is planning to expand its production of sea-rice at a newly founded research center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong province.

With start-up funding of 100 million yuan (US$14.86 million), the sea-rice research and development center, headed by Yuan Longping, is expected to expand the yield of sea-rice to 200 kilograms on each "mu," the Chinese unit equivalent to 666 square meters, in three years.

Wild sea-rice is at first found in saline-alkaline soil at the junctures where rivers join the sea. The plant is resistant to pests, diseases, salt and alkali and does not need fertilizer. But its unit output is only 75 to 150 kg.

The Qingdao research center will use gene sequencing to cultivate new strains of sea-rice with unit output over 200 kg.

Known as China's "father of hybrid rice", Yuan started theoretical research about 50 years ago and kept setting new records in the average yields of hybrid rice plots.

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