The division head
Dr. Zhang Qifa, born in Gong’an County, Hubei Province on December 19, 1953, is a plant geneticist and molecular biologist. He graduated from Huazhong Agricultural College in 1976 and earned his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of California at Davis, USA, in 1985. He is currently a professor of Huazhong Agricultural University, Dean of the College of Life Science and Technology, and Director of the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement.
He systematically analyzed the genetic diversity of world barley, which revealed a number of important characteristics of the distribution of genetic diversity, based on which he proposed independent origins of Oriental and Occidental cultivated barley. His group conducted extensive molecular studies of heterosis in rice, including demonstrating the relationship between molecular marker heterozygosity and heterosis, characterization of the genetic basis of heterosis, and made the proposition of epistasis as the genetic basis of heterosis.
His group also constructed a high-density molecular linkage map of rice and mapped over 20 important major genes and a large number of genes for agronomic traits. His group developed, using molecular techniques, bacterial blight resistant restorer lines of hybrid rice, quality improved male sterile line, and transgenic rice with delayed senescence and improved yield potential.
He was elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999, and to the Third World Academy of Sciences in 2000.
Plant Breeding Professor, Agronomy Department.
Hybrid rice breeding, genetics, and seed production.
Bachelor of Science 1982 (agronomy), Zhejiang Agricultural University;
Master of Science 1987 (plant breeding and genetics), Huazhong Agricultural University.
He was a research assistant (1982-1984), Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, assistant research professor (1988-1991), associate research professor (1992-1995), research professor (1996-2000), Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, professor (2001-), Huazhong Agricultural University.
Award for Agricultural Research, Hubei Provincial Government(1995). Award for scientific and technological progress, Education Ministry (1995). Award for scientific and technological progress, Ministry of Science and Technology.
He received his B.S. in 1987 and M.S in 1990 at Huazhong Agricultural University. Dr. Yu obtained his doctoral degree in plant genetics and breeding from the same university, in 1997, under the direction of Professor Zhang Qifa. He got two-year postdoctoral training at Dr. Li Zhikang’s Molecular Biology Laboratory in IRRI.His professional research interests are in rice biology, molecular breeding, and seed quality control. His current research is focused on the identification and cloning of quantitative trait loci (QTL), the development of genetic stocks for novel gene discovery, and the application of molecular markers in rice breeding.
He was employed as a lecturer at the Department of Agronomy of Huazhong Agricultural University in 1990, and promoted to associate professor in 1999, and teaches the courses of Quantitative Genetics, Seed Science, and Crop Breeding for the graduate and undergraduate students. He is the author and co-author of about 30 research papers and book chapters.