Wuhan, China

Huazhong Agricultural University is a multi-disciplinary comprehensive university giving priority to agriculture, characterized by life science and supplemented by the combination of agriculture, basic science, engineering, liberal arts, law, economic trade, and management. HAU, one of the first groups of universities in China which are authorized to confer Ph.D. and M.A. degrees, has produced the new China's first doctor majoring in agronomy. Firmly adhering to the two central tasks like teaching and scientific research, HAU maintains its management by levels and flexible forms. As far as education quality and academic level, HAU ranks first among the agricultural universities in China. In addition, it has been converted into a nationally important base for training senior special agricultural personnel and developing agricultural science and technology. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-13-2015 | Award Amount: 6.43M | Year: 2016

MycoKey aims to generate innovative and integrated solutions that will support stakeholders in effective and sustainable mycotoxin management along food and feed chains. The project will contribute to reduce mycotoxin contamination mainly in Europe and China, where frequent and severe mycotoxin contaminations occur in crops, and where international trade of commodities and contaminated batches are increasing. MycoKey will address the major affected crops maize, wheat and barley, their associated toxigenic fungi and related mycotoxins (aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, fumonisins). The project will integrate key information and practical solutions for mycotoxin management into a smart ICT tool (MycoKey App), providing answers to stakeholders, who require rapid, customized forecasting, descriptive information on contamination risk/levels, decision support and practical economically-sound suggestions for intervention. Tools and methodologies will be strategically targeted for cost-effective application in the field and during storage, processing and transportation. Alternative and safe ways to use contaminated batches will be also delivered. The focus of Mycokey will be: i) innovating communications of mycotoxin management by applying ICT, providing input for legislation, enhancing knowledge and networks; ii) selecting and improving a range of tools for mycotoxin monitoring; iii) assessing the use of reliable solutions, sustainable compounds/green technologies in prevention, intervention and remediation. The multi-disciplinary consortium, composed by scientific, industrial and association partners (32), includes 11 Chinese institutions and will conduct the 4 years programme in a framework of international networks.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.3-05 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2013

Food security is a global challenge. Within the overall increased demand for food, and particularly meat production, there is also an urgent need to increase supply of protein from sustainable sources. The principle objective of the international and multidisciplinary PROteINSECT consortium is to facilitate the exploitation of insects as an alternative protein source for animal and human nutrition. Advances have been made in rearing of insects for incorporation in animal feed in countries including China and Mali. The consortium brings together expertise in these countries together with European insect breeders and feed production companies in order to optimise systems and set up pilot scale production facilities in the EU. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of the use of insect-derived proteins in animal feed through trials with fish, poultry and pigs. Quality and safety along the food chain from insect protein itself, to incorporation in feed and ultimately human consumption of insect-protein reared livestock, will be evaluated. The use of waste streams that focus on animal rather than plant material for insect rearing will be examined. To optimise the economic viability of the use of insect proteins, uses for the residual flows from the production system will be determined. Life cycle analyses will enable the design of optimised and sustainable production systems suitable for adoption in both ICPC and European countries. Key to uptake is ensuring that a regulatory framework is in place and this will be encouraged by the preparation of a White Paper following consultation with key stakeholders, experts and consumers. PROteINSECT will build a pro-insect platform in Europe to encourage adoption of sustainable protein production technologies in order to reduce the reliance of the feed industry on plant/fish derived proteins in the short term, and promote the acceptance of insect protein as a direct component of human food in the longer term.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.3-04 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2013

The continuous growth of the world population translates into a demand of animal protein that can only be achieved through technological advances in farming, intensification, and expansion of farmed land. These pressures, combined with the increasing international trade of animals and their products, will lead to the rapid spread of animal diseases across borders and the emergence of new pathogens. This can have a huge impact on trade, livelihoods and public health. China is no exception and is in fact the worlds largest livestock producer and consumer, with pig and poultry meat being the most consumed meats. Research has many of the answers to prevent and control animal diseases, either through the understanding of their spread (epidemiology) or through better diagnostics for disease detection and surveillance. Both the European Union (EU) and China are two major worldwide players in animal health research. With dozens of institutions working on livestock health, the cross-border coordination and networking of research becomes a top priority to avoid duplication, while maximizing efforts by bringing together new ideas, expertise, technologies and funds. LinkTADs brings together world-class research institutes and experts in cross-border cooperation with the aim to coordinate research between the EU and China, thus improving scientific excellence in animal health (epidemiology and laboratory). Main objectives: identify the priority areas, where joint actions are needed link the research activities carried out on by European and Chinese research programmes ensure a wide-range networking of scientific communities and stakeholders provide a long term vision and achieve coordinated planning on future common research contribute to the international policies of the EU improve the research capacity of organizations by supporting young researchers through exchange programmes and training share the results and methodologies within and outside the consortium.


The requirement for sustainable food production is a global issue to which the EU contributes as a major livestock producer. It is critical to improve animal production efficiency while sustaining environmentally friendly milk production. More profitable dairy production requires increased milk yield, cow health, longevity and fertility; reduced environmental footprint and optimised use of inputs. These are multifactorial problems to achieve. GplusE aims to identify the genotypes controlling biological variation in the important phenotypes of dairy cows, to appreciate how these are influenced by environmental and management factors and thus allow more informed and accurate use of genomic selection. GplusE will link new genomic data in dairy cows to a comprehensive array of phenotypic information going well beyond those existing traits recorded by dairy breeding organisations. It will develop systems that will focus herd and cow management on key time points in production that have a major influence on the rest of the productive cycle including efficiency, environment, physiological status, health, fertility and welfare. This will significantly advance the science, efficiency and management practices in dairy production well beyond the current state-of-the art. The major bioinformatics element of the proposal will illuminate the bovine genome and ensure a reverse flow of information to annotate human and other mammalian genomes; it will ensure training of animal scientists (PhDs & Postdocs) to a high skill level in the use of bioinformatics. The end result of this project will be a comprehensive, integrated identification of genomic-phenotypic associations relevant to dairy production. This information will be translated into benefits for animal breeding and management that will considerably improve sustainable dairy production. It will provide basic biological information into the mechanisms by which genotype, environment and their interaction influence performance.


To elucidate the genes involved in the formation of white and black plumage in ducks, RNA from white and black feather bulbs of an F(2) population were analyzed using RNA-Seq. A total of 2,642 expressed sequence tags showed significant differential expression between white and black feather bulbs. Among these tags, 186 matched 133 annotated genes that grouped into 94 pathways. A number of genes controlling melanogenesis showed differential expression between the two types of feather bulbs. This differential expression was confirmed by qPCR analysis and demonstrated that Tyr (Tyrosinase) and Tyrp1 (Tyrosinase-related protein-1) were expressed not in W-W (white feather bulb from white dorsal plumage) and W-WB (white feather bulb from white-black dorsal plumage) but in B-B (black feather bulb from black dorsal plumage) and B-WB (black feather bulb from white-black dorsal plumage) feather bulbs. Tyrp2 (Tyrosinase-related protein-2) gene did not show expression in the four types of feather bulbs but expressed in retina. C-kit (The tyrosine kinase receptor) expressed in all of the samples but the relative mRNA expression in B-B or B-WB was approximately 10 fold higher than that in W-W or W-WB. Additionally, only one of the two Mitf isoforms was associated with plumage color determination. Downregulation of c-Kit and Mitf in feather bulbs may be the cause of white plumage in the duck.


Xing Y.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Zhang Q.,Huazhong Agricultural University
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2010

Grain yield in rice is a complex trait multiplicatively determined by its three component traits: number of panicles, number of grains per panicle, and grain weight; all of which are typical quantitative traits. The developments in genome mapping, sequencing, and functional genomic research have provided powerful tools for investigating the genetic and molecular bases of these quantitative traits. Dissection of the genetic bases of the yield traits based on molecular marker linkage maps resolved hundreds of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for these traits. Mutant analyses and map-based cloning of QTLs have identified a large number of genes required for the basic processes underlying the initiation and development of tillers and panicles, as well as genes controlling numbers and sizes of grains and panicles. Molecular characterization of these genes has greatly advanced the mechanistic understanding of the regulation of these rice yield traits. These findings have significant implications in crop genetic improvement. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Hu H.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Xiong L.,Huazhong Agricultural University
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2014

Drought is one of the most important environmental stresses affecting the productivity of most field crops. Elucidation of the complex mechanisms underlying drought resistance in crops will accelerate the development of new varieties with enhanced drought resistance. Here, we provide a brief review on the progress in genetic, genomic, and molecular studies of drought resistance in major crops. Drought resistance is regulated by numerous small-effect loci and hundreds of genes that control various morphological and physiological responses to drought. This review focuses on recent studies of genes that have been well characterized as affecting drought resistance and genes that have been successfully engineered in staple crops. We propose that one significant challenge will be to unravel the complex mechanisms of drought resistance in crops through more intensive and integrative studies in order to find key functional components or machineries that can be used as tools for engineering and breeding drought-resistant crops. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews.


BACKGROUND: Citrus shoot tips abscise at an anatomically distinct abscission zone (AZ) that separates the top part of the shoots into basal and apical portions (citrus self-pruning). Cell separation occurs only at the AZ, which suggests its cells have distinctive molecular regulation. Although several studies have looked into the morphological aspects of self-pruning process, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown.RESULTS: In this study, the hallmarks of programmed cell death (PCD) were identified by TUNEL experiments, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and histochemical staining for reactive oxygen species (ROS) during self-pruning of the spring shoots in sweet orange. Our results indicated that PCD occurred systematically and progressively and may play an important role in the control of self-pruning of citrus. Microarray analysis was used to examine transcriptome changes at three stages of self-pruning, and 1,378 differentially expressed genes were identified. Some genes were related to PCD, while others were associated with cell wall biosynthesis or metabolism. These results strongly suggest that abscission layers activate both catabolic and anabolic wall modification pathways during the self-pruning process. In addition, a strong correlation was observed between self-pruning and the expression of hormone-related genes. Self-pruning plays an important role in citrus floral bud initiation. Therefore, several key flowering homologs of Arabidopsis and tomato shoot apical meristem (SAM) activity genes were investigated in sweet orange by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization, and the results indicated that these genes were preferentially expressed in SAM as well as axillary meristem.CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, a model for sweet orange spring shoot self-pruning is proposed, which will enable us to better understand the mechanism of self-pruning and abscission.

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