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Technical Breakthrough in Methodology of Boosting the Potential of Walnut Tree Productivity Won the 2nd Class Prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award of 2011
Author:     Time: 2012-02-22

The ceremony of National Science and Technology Progress Award of 2011 were held in the Great Hall of People in Beijing in the morning of February 14th 2012. “The Technical Breakthrough in Boosting Walnut Production Potentiality” was awarded the second class prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Award. The prize winner, the research project leader is Professor Pei Dong, research fellow from Research Institute of Forestry, CAF.

The National Science and Technology Progress Award confer to Chinese nationals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to national scientific and technological progress in research and development, technical innovation, dissemination of advanced science and technology research achievements, promotion of industrialization of high and novel technology as well as to those who successfully accomplished the researches of key science and technology projects or programs. The total annual first and second prize awards will be kept within 400.

Walnut has been one of the economic nut tree species that extensively adopted and widely grown in China and the world. It would be the superior specialty business with great potentiality to grow walnut for mountainous farmers in China to alleviate poverty and generate income. For a long time, clonal propagation technique was a barrier that curtail the walnut production. 

Led by CAF’s Research Institute of Forestry and joined cooperatively by other research institutions and universities, walnut technical innovation study project task force has been targeting at boosting the potential walnut tree productivity since 1990. Based on the features of walnut bud differentiation as well as the sprig structure and the shoot growth, and on the pattern that resulted in bleeding sap, the specialists in the project team adopted “sprig-sand soil embedding, etiolating, adult tissue-rejuvenating”methodology which radically innovate walnut tree cutting reproduction technique. The rooting rate attained at over 90% by the application of such technique in the production dissemination.

Furthermore, the scientists applied in vitro subculture for the adult tissue rejuvenation in combination with “two stages of rooting induction” in the walnut micro cutting reproduction. This reproduction technique resulted in 98% rooting rate for the walnut seedlings which testifies the breakthrough in clonal propagation techniques for walnut stock breeding.

With the deepened understanding from the rooting mechanism of broadleaf trees that is difficult to take root in addition to the interpretation to the mechanism of the measures of adult tissue rejuvenation to promote the rooting, the scientists in the project task force has discovered and depicted the rooting models during the study in which the ratio of the endogenous auxin of IAA and the ABA play a vital part in it.  

The team creatively put forward and practiced the early-grafting stage in which the season for bud grafting will be the time of new shoot at 8th to 10th nodal section (during the period from late May to late June in North China) plus the measures of irrigation before bud-grafting. Such methodology changed the traditional approach which had followed the apple reproduction techniques. The bud-grafting survival rate has been raised to over 95% now as opposed to that of around 10% in 1990.

The scientists in the project team has invented the early-fruiting walnut cultivars which has been adapted to grow in China’s plain areas, lower and middle hills and mountain regions after years study and trials. Three kinds of site preparation models have been devised to suit the different slopes to effectively control the soil erosion and to increase the land use by 78%. Concluded from the systematic study on the pruning effect, bleeding sap and the nutritional effect, the technique of walnut tree pruning during the dominant period has been used to substitute the traditional pruning during the growth period. The cold resistant method to protect the young walnut trees has been originated. The regression forecasting model of flowering stage has been formulated according to the temperature analysis of different stages in the walnut tree flowering stage and that of the pre-flowering, thus providing scientific early warning or forecast to avoid the frozen weather.

The innovative methodology to boost the walnut production potentiality has been the most effective and popularly applied technique in China. Since 2001, this scientific and technical research achievement has been disseminated and applied in 169 counties of 8 provinces in the regions of Taihang Mountain, Qinba Mountain, the Yunnan and Guizhou Plateau,  dry land of the Loess Plateau and Xinjiang Desert Oasis. The practice proves that the new walnut cultivar breeding features healthy growth and strong stress resistance which reduce the use of pesticide and operation cost. It has served the purpose to generate income to alleviate poverty for the farmers and has made proactive contributions to achieve the sustainable socioeconomic development in the said regions.


New Walnut cultivar “Jinfeng” is at fruiting 


Demonstration Stand in the Dry land of the Loess Plateau Region