Oil Crops Research Institute (OCRI), located in Wuhan in central China, is a national scientific research center engaged in oil crops improvement with complementary research disciplines. Currently, 260 staff are working in the institute, including three scientists selected for “New Century National Talents Project”, one national outstanding expert, three outstanding research talents of the Ministry of Agriculture, one chief scientist of the national modern rapeseed industrial technology innovation system, 16 high-level talents of Hubei province, 17 outstanding talents of CAAS, and 14 provincial or ministerial experts with outstanding contribution.
In order to address the major scientific and technological constraints in development of oil crops industry in China, IOC has conducted extensive research on germplasm resources, genetics and breeding, functional genomics, genetic engineering, cultivation and physiology, plant nutrition and fertilization, plant protection, safety evaluation of transgenic plants, chemical analysis of quality traits, quality supervision and product processing of rapeseed, soybean, peanut, sesame and other special oil crops. Great achievements have been made in germplasm resources, utilization of rapeseed heterosis, rapeseed and peanut breeding for high oil content, resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in rapeseed, management of peanut bacterial wilt, aflatoxin contamination, peanut viral diseases and soybean rust, high yield breeding of sesame, functional genomics of oil crops, genetic engineering, GMO safety assessment, quality standards and product processing of oil crops. In some of the research fields, IOC has been in leading position internationally.
Several national and provincial R & D platforms have been established based on IOC, including National Center for Oil Crops Improvement, National Rapeseed Industrial Technology Innovation Center, National Engineering and Technology Research Center for Rapeseed (co-built with Huazhong Agricultural University), National Strategic Alliance for Industrial Technology Innovation of Rapeseed Processing, Key Laboratory of Biological and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Quality Inspection and Testing Center of Oilseed Products of MOA, Inspection and Testing Center of Environmental Biosafety of Transgenic Plants of MOA (Wuhan), Laboratory of Risk Assessment for Oilseeds Products (Wuhan) of MOA, Key Laboratory of Detection for Mycotoxins of MOA, Processing Pilot Plant of Oil Crops of MOA, National Arachis Germplasm Nursery, Hubei Key Laboratory of Lipid Chemical and Nutrition of Oil Crops, Hubei International Cooperation Base of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops. The experimental stations in various ecological regions, laboratory equipments and related facilities of IOC have ranked the top among the similar institutes in China, providing solid basis for scientific innovation and development.
To date, IOC has developed 166 varieties of oil crops, 53 standards at national and ministerial levels and obtained 103 national patents. The institute has won 19 national scientific awards and more than 120 provincial or ministerial awards. The national scientific awards cover breeding, cultivation, plant protection, quality safety, and products processing. Among which, the research achievements in rapeseed in IOC have been rewarded with 14 national awards, accounting for 37% in the whole country. In recent years, IOC has been taking leading roles internationally in genome sequencing of rapeseed, cabbage and sesame, gene discovery and germplasm enhancement for high oil content in rapeseed, development of quality assessment and aflatoxin detection techniques.