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A history of wheat breeding in China

Author: He, Zhonghu
Author: Rajaram, S.
Author: Xin, Z.Y.
Author: Huang, G.Z.
Year: 2001
ISBN: 970-648-079-X
Abstract: China is the largest producer and consumer of wheat in the world. Wheats cultivated in China include winter and facultative wheats and spring wheats sown in both autumn and spring, mostly in rotation with other crops such as maize and rice. Wheat is grown in 30 of China’s 31 provinces within 10 major agro-ecological zones established based on wheat type, growing season, major biotic stresses, and varietal response to temperature and photoperiod. Great progress has been achieved in wheat production since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Comparing the 1949-1953 and 1996-2000 periods, average yield rose from 0.70 to 3.86 t/ha, and wheat production increased from 16.4 to 112.0 million tons. These extraordinary yield advances provide evidence that wheat in China is outstanding in terms of production, distribution, cropping system, and genetic resources. Initiated in the 1930s, wheat breeding in China has made remarkable progress since 1949 in the improvement of yield potential, plant stature, maturity, and disease resistance. Four to six varietal replacements, each generating about a 10% yield increase, have been recorded in most wheat areas. Chinese wheat breeding programs have operated somewhat independently, and the utilization of exotic germplasm is limited due to the practice of multiple cropping in the country. These factors have contributed to making the Chinese wheat gene pool unique compared with wheat materials from other countries. Several books on wheat have been published in Chinese, including Chinese Wheat Varieties and their Pedigrees, published by China Agricultural Press in 1983. It contains detailed information on wheat breeding and pedigrees in China’s 10 agro-ecological zones. However, very little information is available in English on this subject. To fill that gap, in the early 1990s, with kind permission of China Agricultural Press, CIMMYT and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) decided to jointly translate the above publication into English. However, a lot of information on Chinese wheat varieties had been generated from 1983 to the 1990s that needed to be included to produce an updated document. The task of collecting this information fell to Professor Fan Jiahua of CAAS, who spent a tremendous amount of time communicating with provincial and prefectural breeding programs all over China. The extensive information collected by Professor Fan Jiahua was included in the resulting book, which is thus not a direct translation of the 1983 publication in Chinese. In addition, the text was highly condensed, reorganized, and rewritten to suit an English-speaking audience. The updated publication includes 11 chapters, of which Chapter 1 presents an overall picture of wheat breeding in China, while Chapters 2 to 11 contain wheat production data, breeding objectives, and pedigrees of major varieties in 10 agro-ecological zones. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to Professor Zhuang Qiaosheng, one of the editors of the 1983 publication and the best known wheat breeder in China, for critically reviewing the manuscript. We also wish to acknowledge the willing cooperation of breeding programs all over China, which provided basic data on their varieties. We believe the information presented in this book will be of interest to those concerned with wheat improvement, especially in developing countries, and expect it will also strengthen the links between Chinese wheat scientists and their colleagues in the English-speaking world.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Book
Country focus: China
Region: East Asia
Region: Central Asia
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: iv, 95 pages
Agrovoc: YIELDS

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  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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