Xia Yuxian: "precision strike" rice pests
A pesticide is developed to control rice diseases and insect pests without polluting the environment. This is the "small goal" of Xia Yuxian, a professor at Chongqing University and chief scientist of Chongqing Julixin Bioengineering Co., Ltd. for which he studied for 11 years.
Recently, the team developed a broad-spectrum pesticide suspension of Metarhizium anisopliae oil and wettable powder to complete the Ministry of Agriculture pesticide registration field trials, the original drug and preparation of the national new pesticide registration and production license. Xia Yuxian, who got the "quasi-health certificate", officially publicized the broad-spectrum biological pesticide, which will enter the stage of mass production by the end of this year.
"I am a real rural child, and my dream is also to engage in agriculture." Xia Yuxian, a 53-year-old middle school student in Sichuan Province, said he had a quarrel with his father about going to Agricultural University for the college entrance exam, but finally persuaded his parents to go to Sichuan Agricultural University.
In 1991, Xia Yuxian was admitted to Southwest Agricultural University, and began his postgraduate study, turning to cotton breeding; in 1996, he was awarded a Sino-British Friendship Scholarship to study biochemistry at the University of Bath, England, for a doctorate degree; in 2000, he founded the Center for Genetic Engineering Research of Chongqing University.
"Crops are most afraid of pests and diseases, which can solve the problem of pests and help farmers solve big problems." Xia Yuxian said. In 2003, he led the research and development of the first domestic "grasshopper killing Metarhizium anisopliae biological pesticide", in the northern ten provinces of the main locust areas to carry out the application, locust control rate can be as high as 90%. In 2006, the Xia Yuxian team's research projects were listed as the "863 national biological pesticide program" in 11th Five-Year.
Xia Yuxian said that although biopesticides have many advantages, their market share is very low due to the shorter shelf life and higher production costs. And he found that many pesticides target only one pest, and farmers are not pesticide experts and often buy the wrong pesticides. If one strain can be developed to kill all the major pests that may occur during the whole growth period of a crop, it will be convenient for farmers and protect the environment.
They first locked the research into pests that plagued rice producing areas. The data showed that there were more than 40 kinds of rice pests, among which Chilo suppressalis, rice leaf roller and rice planthopper were the most serious pests, which could lead to a significant reduction in rice yield. Under the condition of pesticide control, the loss caused by pests still accounts for more than 5% of the total yield of rice.
After repeated studies, researchers found a broad spectrum of Metarhizium anisopliae strains among more than 1000 insecticidal microorganisms. With the support of the agricultural sector, thousands of acres of experimental demonstration and large-scale application have been carried out in the main rice producing areas of Hubei and Hunan since 2011, and nearly 100 experimental demonstration sites have been established. It is found that this biological pesticide is not only efficient and broad-spectrum, but also simple and convenient to use.
"In 2012 in Xiushan experimental field, as far as the sound of frogs in our field is concerned, the other fields with traditional pesticides are quiet." Xia Yuxian said with a smile, this is because traditional pesticides kill insects and other organisms together. However, the biopesticides they studied only kill pests, which are safe for human beings, livestock and all kinds of beneficial organisms, and have little impact on non-target organisms.