The Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology

Henan University,March 28, 2011

Built in 1990, the laboratory of plant stress biology was named as provincial key laboratory in March 2005, and then elevated as key laboratory of Ministry of Education in July 2007. In December 2008, an agreement was reached between it and Cotton Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science for the launching of Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology.

Overall Positioning: Facing with great need of national agricultural sustainable development and international frontiers of plant science, we study the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the main crop cotton so as to have a systematic research on hereditary basis, growing and cell signal transmission mechanism that plants can adapt under stress. We pay attention to clone, identification and functional analysis of new gene of plants' defense so as to provide new gene, new material, new technique and new method for nurturing new breed of stress resistance plants by genetic technology, and finally solve the problems confronted by agriculture of Henan or even the whole China.

Research direction: On the basis of present development trends of international discipline, and with the combination of the country's need and local characteristics, the research directions are further determined, including functional genomics of stress response, transmission of cell genetics and stress signal, stress resistance genetic engineering and molecular breeding, and dry farming and stress physiology and ecology, which are distinctive and correlated.

Academic team: there are 35 researchers, among whom there is an academician who are employed by both Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering, 3 winners of the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars, 1 state-level candidate for National Outstanding Talent in New Century, 1 scholar of Central Plains, 6 distinguished visiting professors and Yellow River Scholars, 14 professors, 10 associate professors, 9 staff with middle-level titles, and over 50 guest professors and adjunct professors.

Talents training: In 2009, research team of "Molecular Genetics Basis and Technology of Biology Water Saving" was selected into innovation team of "Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University". In recent years, 38 doctors and 218 post-graduates have been trained, among whom 6 go on further study and enter the doctoral research center, and 7 young key teachers are selected to go to famous universities or laboratory abroad for further study and research.

Discipline Construction: The laboratory is entitled to confer doctor's degree of botany (authorization of doctor's degree of biology has been approved by Henan Province), post-graduate's degree of biology and crop genetics & breeding, and doctoral research center for biology.

Research subject: In recent years, more than 60 scientific projects have been approved, including 2 National Basic Research Program of China, 3 National Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 2 Major Research Plans of National Natural Science Foundation, 3 Key Programs of National Natural Science Foundation, 5 National Major Projects of Transgenosis(topic), 23 projects of National Natural Science Foundation and 1 discipline platform co-constructed by province and ministry. The total expenditure amounts to over 50 million Yuan.

Infrastructure and Facility: the scientific research room of the lab covers an area of 4000 square meters, with 600 square meters for a newly-built large plant cultivation room. Depending on the lab, a "Stress Resistance Improvement Center" is also built, which has altogether established 100 mu experimental fields for outdoor cultivation in our university, in Kaifeng urban district as well as in Hainan Province. The lab is equipped with more than 100 sets of facilities, ranging from laser confocal scanning system, gene chip and patch clamp to thermal imager, valued more than 15 million RMB totally, including more than 4 million yuan of newly-bought facilities.

Academic Exchanges: The lab has launched cooperation and exchange programs with a score of national research institutions like Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing (NIBS) and Tsinghua University (THU), as well as a dozen of foreign research institutions in the US, Britain, Australia and Japan, etc. About a hundred foreign and Chinese distinguished experts have visited the lab, including Professor Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry. And among them over 50 experts have been hired as adjunct professors. The lab has hosted 8 large-scale national academic meetings and invited experts from home and abroad to give more than 60 lectures. The lab researchers have participated in more than 10 international academic meetings, and have participated in more than 300 national ones. The academic leaders have also been invited many times to give reports on both national and international academic meetings.

Awards: In 2007, the project entitled "On Improving Plants' Water Use Efficiency by Stomatal Regulation" by Professor Song Chunpeng, won the first prize of Natural Science Award of the Ministry of Education. In January 2011, the Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology was awarded the "11th-five year plan" outstanding scientific and technological innovation platform. And Professor Song was honored as the outstanding scientific and technological innovation talent of the "11th-five year plan".