State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology (SKLCB) was founded in 2007, supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MSTC). The laboratory was initially founded as the State Key Laboratory Base by MSTC and the government of Shandong Province in 2003, which was derived from four laboratories, including the key laboratory of Wheat Cultivation Physiology and Genetic Improvement, the Shandong key laboratories of Plant Genetic Engineering, Fruit Tree Biology and Plant Molecular Biology.
Currently, the laboratory holds doctoral majors on Crop Science, Horticulture and Biology. Dr. Xiansheng Zhang, a plant molecular biologist, is the laboratory director. Dr. Weihua Wu, is the director of the Academic Committee of the laboratory.
State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology mainly focuses on biological issues challenging crop production in China, including but not limited to increasing crop yield under changing climate, improving crop quality, promoting ecological and food safety, increasing the efficiency of nutrient usage. Crop species studied in the laboratory include wheat, corn, fruits and vegetables and some model plant species.
Researchers of this laboratory work on three major research areas:
(1) Crop physiology and ecology, including mechanistic understanding of crop production, senescence, crop quality, photosynthesis and yield potential under changing climate.
(2) Crop germplasm improvement, focusing on important agronomic traits, core germplasm collection and exploration, germplasm improvement and crop breeding.
(3) Crop molecular biology, including the understanding of molecular bases of crop reproductive development, crop responses to abiotic stresses, gene expression and regulation, as well as transgenic technology.