Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 2004
The Prize Committee for Agriculture has unanimously decided that the 2004 Wolf Prize be jointly awarded to Yuan Longping and Steven D. Tanksley.
China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center
Mapoling, Hunan Province, China
“for innovative development of hybrid rice and discovery of the genetic basis of heterosis in this important food staple.”
Professor Yuan Longping is one of the scientific giants in modern agricultural research and has made a dramatic impact on worldwide food production. Professor Longping has developed innovative strategies to significantly enhance rice yields, utilizing cytoplasmic male sterility that has led to the development of hybrid rice. Under his leadership, and after a decade of cooperative research efforts among hundreds of rice scientists from numerous research institutes and universities, rice yields were generally enhanced by 20 percent, and China rice production, by 50 percent. Professor Longping has further pioneered “super hybrids” utilizing inter-specific heterosis. As an agricultural scientist, Yuan Longping’s concerns go beyond China’s food supply and extend to the enormous problem of world hunger. To help increase world food supply, he has shared his knowledge, techniques, and breeding materials, with scientists worldwide.