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Chinese researcher made honorary Fellow

Chinese researcher made honorary Fellow of HortResearch

A Chinese expert on kiwifruit varieties Professor Huang Hongwen, has been made an Honorary Fellow of HortResearch.

Professor Huang, is acting director of the Wuhan Institute of Botany, the Chinese academy of Sciences, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Botanical Society of China, President of the Botanical Society of Hubei and is the current Chairman of the Kiwifruit Working Group of the International Society for Horticultural Science.

Honouring Professor Huang recognises his position as a scientist and administrator, acknowledges his work on the conservation and biology of the genus Actinidia (cultivated kiwifruit are selections of Actinidia), and his encouragement of scientific links between New Zealand and China.

This is his second visit to New Zealand and kiwifruit researchers from HortResearch regularly visit Wuhan. The HortResearch kiwifruit-breeding programmes depends on continuing good relationships with Chinese institutions and securing access to new sources of Actinidia germplasm and Professor Huang is well aware that one of the primary reasons for protecting germplasm resources is the development of new kiwifruit and he has been involved in the selection of several new cultivars including 'Jinkui".

His early research was on plant nutritional problems in chestnuts and he spent nearly 10 years working on these for the US Department of Agriculture. However his scientific career has been devoted to the conservation and management of germplasm (genetic material). His special interest has been in the conservation of Actinidia resources and the Botanic Garden at Wuhan has what is almost certainly the most comprehensive collection of Actinidia species in China.

Professor Huang received the Fellowship from Dr Ian Warrington, CEO of HortResearch at the Mt Albert Research Centre on May 11.

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