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Academician Xiong Yuanzhu Died at the Age of 87

At 23:30 on January 30, 2017, Xiong Yuanzhu, the academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and professor the College of Animal Sciences & Technology of HZAU, died at the age of 87.

Xiong Yuanzhu is a famous scientist in animal genetics and breeding in China. He enjoyed a high reputation at home and abroad for making a significant contribution to the development of animal husbandry and the cultivation of talents. His death is a great loss to China's animal husbandry field and its development.

In July 1930, Xiong Yuanzhu was born in Zhushan County, a mountainous area in northwest of Hubei Province. Because of some reasons, he did not graduate from the animal husbandry until the autumn of 1959.Then he worked at livestock farm. The work was hard, but there he was engaged in the breeding management and genetic breeding and other works of the livestock and poultry.

Breeding swine resource survey was an important work that Xiong Yuanzhu had to deal with. For almost 20 years, he had visited pigsties in about every village of 66 counties in Hubei Province and make surveys in more than half of China, including South China, Northeast and Northwest China. Finally, he and other scholars finished the most complete and the only Chinese Pig Breeds in China so far.

Due to the large demand for lean meat of pork in the market, Xiong Yuanzhu began to study lean-type pigs. In 1986, he and his research group finally succeeded in breeding the first Chinese self-developed sow variety with high lean-meat rate – Hubei White Pig and its specialized line. In 1988, he won the Special Award of Hubei Provincial Progress Prize in Scientific and Collective Technology.

Xiong Yuanzhu introduced world famous pig breeds, established 8core breeding stations of lean-meat type pig and over 70 production bases in the whole China to increase qualified rate of commodity pig in China’s export from 15.52% to more than 90%, earned cumulative foreign exchange 3.6 Billion dollars. He was dubbed as “Father of Pig Breeding”.

Xiong Yuanzhu presided over the construction of the first China breeding swine testing center, quality supervision center of Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Key Laboratory of Pig Genetics and Breeding, MOA China and National Engineering Research Center for Livestock. He had presided over more than 30 national and provincial major research programs, and won 5 National and over 10 Provincial Progress Prize in Scientific and Collective Technology.

In 1999, Xiong Yuanzhu was elected as Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as the first academician in China’s pig breeding. He cultivated 2 post-doctoral students, over 70 doctoral students, and over 50 master students, some of them have become the backbone of China’s scientific research institutes and some of them have become well-known scholars in pig breeding at home and abroad.

(By Hu Wendie)