China launched its first space cultivation seed research center and laboratory yesterday in Yangling, a city in northwestern Shaanxi province, Yicai Global reported on August 9. The center will be a resource base for plant breeding and seed selection. Its first task is to send and cultivate 20 varieties of trees to devise new tree and flower breeding methods. It is reported that both China Space Biology and the Yangling Modern Plant Introduction and Breeding Company are managing the center.
Yangling hosts China’s sole state-level Agricultural Hi-tech Industries Demonstration Zone, which was founded in 1997 to support the technological development in the agricultural sector. Space breeding experiments have been conducted in China since 1987. Yangling in particular, delivered over 70 experiments and sent over 6000 seeds into space, 239 of which were successfully cultivated. The center could help China to develop its space-related technology and increase core competitiveness in agriculture.