Associate Professor Yong-Ling Ruan from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences is Director of the Australia-China Research Centre for Crop Improvement (ACRCCI) . ACRCCI focuses on discovering key genes and biological processes controlling plant development and stress tolerance for innovative applications to improve food security and agricultural sustainability by bringing together research teams of international excellence in plant biology and breeding.
Improving crop productivity and stress tolerance is crucial to underpin sustainable agriculture and social stability worldwide. The issue has become particularly urgent in recent years in light of (i) the demand to double world crop yield by 2050 to feed more people with less arable land and (ii) the increased incidents of Global warming-associated drought, salt and heat stresses and pathogen and pest infections.
China and Australia are two major countries where agriculture plays key roles in their economy but faces similar challenges as how to improve crop yield, quality and stress tolerance for food, feed, fuel, fibre and other end products. To tackle this grand challenge, plant biologists and crop scientists from both countries have initiated strategic collaborative research in recent years with complementary expertise and facilities. The collaboration has begun to yield valuable outcomes and opened enormous opportunities and potentials for crop genetic improvement.
A Great Success of Federal Government Funded Group Mission
ACRCCI has successfully undertaken the DIISRTE- funded Group Mission project entitled âCollaboration to Strengthen the Research Capabilities of ACRCCIâ in early 2013. During the Group Mission, we held:
- The 1st Australia-China Symposium on Crop Science in Hangzhou, chaired by Yong-Ling Ruan, Director, ACRCCI; Xiaoya Chen, President, SIBS, CAS and Jianping Chen, President ZAAS. The meeting attracted ~150 delegates from major institutes from both nations with 20 invited speakers, covering topics from regulation of gene expression to stress tolerance and yield formation.
- A round table discussion in Shanghai at the Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology (SIPPE); Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences (SIBS) of CAS for collaboration in Plant Biology research.
- A mini-symposium with National Key Lab of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Improvement in Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) and discussed ways for fostering strategic collaboration between ACRCCI and the Key Lab.
The group mission has increased research profile of ACRCCI and attracted considerable interests from some top institutes for collaboration with MOU being prepared and signed between UoN and CAS and NAU. With a solid track record in winning competitive funding, publications in top journals and establishment of extensive network, ACRCCI is now well positioned to leap forward to achieve its inspirational goals in crop science research and application.
Group Mission: Hangzhou, Jan 2013
1st Aust-China Symposium On Crop Science
Group Mission: Shanghai, Jan 2013
Visit/workshop, SIPPE, SIBS, Chinese Academy of Science.
Group Mission: Nanjing, Jan 2013
Mini-symposium on Plant Biology. National Key Lab on Plant Genetics; Nanjing Agri Uni (NAU).