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Longping Yuan

Longping Yuan, Chinese agronomist and plant breeder (Beijing 07 September 1930 – Changsha 22 May 2021)

Obtained the Nan-you nº2, the world’s first high yield hybrid rice strain (1973)

Developed numerous new strains of “super hybrid rice” that produced almost 10 tons per hectare

Discovered how to achieve heterosis in rice (a self-fertilizing plant), developing the first male sterile line rice

Proposed super-high yielding breeding of hybrid rice by a combination of ideotype and heterosis breeding

With Xiangyuan An developed an universal dominant male-sterility system in multiple plant species by using a maize male sterility gene (ZnMs7), a promising technology for hybrid seed production in crops

With X. An, B. Ma, M.J. Duan, Z.Y. Dong, R. Liu et al. Molecular regulation of ZnMS7 required for maize male fertility and development of a dominant male-sterility system in multiple species. Proceed. Nat. Acad. Sciences 117(38), 2020


With S.F. Song, T.K. Wang, Y.X. Li, J. Hu, R.F. Kan et al. A novel strategy for creating a new system of third-generation hybrid rice technology using a cytoplasmic sterility gene and a genic male-sterility gene. Plant Biotechn. J. 19(2), 2020

With Y. Xia, N. Tang, Y. Hu. D. Li, S.C. Li et al. A method for mechanized hybrid rice seed production using female sterile rice. Rice 12(1), 2019

Three line method for indica hybrid rice (proposed in 1966; published in 1973)

Two line method for hybrid rice (proposed in 1980s; published in 1995)

Super hybrid rice technology system (1996-7)

A series of yield-boosting techniques such as the determination of seeding dates, adjustment of flowering stages, supplementary pollination and application of gibberellic acid in Key techniques for high production of hybrid rice seeds. Yichuan Yuzhong 1:4-5, 1977


Nan-you nº2 (1974)

V64 (1984) with M.Y. Sun

V48 (1984) with Z.G. Song

V49 (1986) with X.L. Deng

V438 (1993) with Z.G. Song

V647 (1994) with X.L. Deng


Er-Jiu-Nan nº 1 A(B) 1972

Ce64 (1985) with M.Y. Sun

Ce49 (1986) with X.L.Deng

Ce48 (1987) with Z.G. Song

Pei Ai 64s (1991) with X.H. Luo et al

438 (1993) with Z.G. Song

647 (1994) with X.L. Deng

Ce64s (1996) with X.Q. Li et al

Xiang125s (1996) with H.Q. Yin et al.

Lin-Lun (1996) with Y.C. Yan


UNESCO Science Prize (1987)

Rank Prize for Agronomy and Nutrition, London (1988)

Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award for Research and education, Brown University, United States (1993)

Fukui International Koshikari Rice Prize (1998)

Wolf Prize in Agriculture and World Food Prize (2004)

Asteroid 8117 Yuanlongping