The Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was founded in 2001 through a merger of three CAS institutes, the Institute of Genetics, the Institute of Developmental Biology and the Shijiazhuang Institute of Agricultural Modernization.
The institute uses plant and animal models to conduct research in such areas as the genetic control of growth and development, gene expression, signal transduction, structural and functional genomics, biotechnology, molecular breeding, bioinformatics and systems biology. It aims to develop key technologies in these areas. It also aims to foster innovation in the fields of modern agriculture and population health. Researchers have already made significant contributions to biosafety, water-saving agriculture and agronomics, focusing on crop productivity and quality improvements.
IGDB has a strong scientific research team, comprising 82 principal investigators, about 350 other researchers and technical staff, and 150 administrative and support personnel. IGCB’s team includes three CAS academicians, three participants in the National Thousand Talents Program, three in the Thousand Talents Program for Young Outstanding Scientists, 42 recipients of the CAS Young Talent Award (One Hundred Talents Program), and 30 winners of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars awards. Four research teams have received support from the Fund for Creative Research Groups under NSFC. IGCB had about 600 graduate students and 99 postdoctoral fellows in 2013. The institute offers six master’s and doctoral programs in science, two master’s programs in agriculture, and one postdoctoral research program in biology.
The institute has five research centers in the fields of genome biology, molecular agrobiology, developmental biology, molecular systems biology and agro-resources, respectively. The institute is home to the National Key Lab of Plant Genomics, the National Key Lab of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, the National Key Lab of Molecular and Developmental Biology and the Hebei Key Lab of Water-Saving Agriculture. In addition, the National Plant Gene Research Center in Beijing is affiliated with the institute.
Institute achievements have been named National or International Top Ten Scientific Breakthroughs by the magazine Science on no less than six occasions. In addition, the institute has received 19 major national awards, as well as 90 provincial, municipal and other awards. The institute has published a number of cover articles in top international academic journals such as Nature and Science. In the last 10 years, the institute has bred 82 new wheat, rice, soybean and corn cultivars, with an estimated value of 1.8 billion US dollars. Prof. Zhensheng Li, a CAS academician, won the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award of China in 2006 for his outstanding contributions to the breeding and development of elite wheat cultivars.
In 2013, the institute initiated the strategic research program “Designer Breeding by Molecular Modules.” In addition, the institute has launched a program, funded by CAS and the Ministry of Science and Technology, to establish a granary in the Bohai Rim area. Its goal is to increase crop production in the area by about 5 billion kg per year by 2020.
The institute has cooperated with local partners to set up seven high-tech breeding centers focused on the molecular breeding of rice, wheat, cotton and vegetables. It also has cooperative relationships with institutes, universities, and companies around the world.
The Genetic Society of China is affiliated to the institute as well as an Editorial Office, which publishes three major journals, Journal of Genetics and Genomics, Hereditas (Beijing) and Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture.
Director: Prof. Weicai Yang
Address: No. 1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, P.R. China