Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

CUHK Soybean Research Project Launched into Space

Image Credits: CUHK, Press Release

A Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) team, led by Professor Lam Hon-Ming, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Life Sciences and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, has successfully transported rhizobia specimens (soybean nitrogen-fixing bacteria) into space.

This ground-breaking achievement was made possible through collaboration with the China Manned Space Agency, China Resources Research Institute of Science and Technology (CRRIST), and a space biotechnology company. The specimens were launched aboard the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft on 10 May 2023 and have now reached the Chinese space station Tiangong. This marks the first agricultural research project from Hong Kong to be sent to space, establishing a significant milestone in the fusion of aerospace and agricultural technologies.

Rhizobia, a type of bacteria known for its ability to establish nodules with legume roots and convert atmospheric nitrogen into usable compounds for plants, play a vital role in nitrogen fixation. In this project, the team is focused on investigating the effects of the space environment on rhizobia through mutagenesis and conducting space biology research.

The objective is to understand how rhizobia adapt and change under extra-terrestrial conditions. Following the collection of rhizobia samples from space, the research team plans to conduct further studies with the aim of developing stress-tolerant rhizobia strains that exhibit enhanced nitrogen-fixing efficiency. The ultimate goal is to optimize the utilisation of rhizobia, reduce reliance on chemical nitrogen fertilizers, improve soil conditions, and contribute to a sustainable environment.

The research team has been devoted to soybean research for over 25 years. The team has successfully developed three new stress-tolerant soybean cultivars, Longhuang 1, Longhuang 2 and Longhuang 3, which have been distributed to local farmers in Gansu province at no cost since 2016.

To further advance soybean breeding technology, Professor Lam is collaborating with CRRIST and the space biotechnology company and planning to send the cultivars into space as a complementary experiment, to investigate any induced mutagenesis under space conditions.

The team will conduct a meticulous analysis of the precious returned specimens to explore the mutation mechanism of soybean seeds in space, aiming to achieve breakthroughs in agricultural technology. The team also plans to screen for new soybean seed materials with promising application prospects, aiming to enrich national strategic agricultural germplasm resources.

Professor Lam Hon-Ming envisions the Tianzhou-6 spacecraft not only as a carrier of his agricultural project but also as a representation of Hong Kong’s scientific and innovative aspirations. He believes that this endeavour symbolises Hong Kong’s role as an international hub for science and innovation.

The project’s objective is to merge agricultural and aerospace technologies to develop novel strategies applicable to agricultural fields. By integrating cutting-edge technology with traditional wisdom, the project aims to push technological boundaries, achieve breakthroughs in agrobiotechnology, and enhance agricultural productivity. The intended beneficiaries are farmers and the wider community, while simultaneously highlighting Hong Kong’s scientific research capabilities to the global stage.

The advancement of aerospace breeding and its associated technologies serves as a crucial link, bringing together China’s strategic agricultural technology and state-of-the-art aerospace advancements. Through dedicated efforts in expanding knowledge and capabilities, as well as promoting innovative research on germplasm resources in space, significant strides are being made towards technological breakthroughs.

These breakthroughs not only contribute to human health but also contribute to the preservation and well-being of our planet. By harnessing the power of aerospace technology, the project is empowering scientific advancements that have the potential to safeguard both human and planetary health.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.