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XU Yunbi


Education Background

Yunbi Xu, a molecular breeder by training, received his BSc degree in Agronomy (1982) from Huazhong Agricultural University and his MS and PhD degrees in Genetics and Plant breeding in 1985 and 1993, respectively, from Zhejiang Agricultural University, China.

Research Area

He is now a professor of ICS-CAAS and also a senior scientist of CIMMYT. As a major or co-author, he has contributed to the development of a series of molecular breeding technologies, particularly for rice and maize, including genome-wide rice SSR markers, large-scale SNP genotyping in maize, seed DNA based genotyping technology, improved selective genotyping, joint linkage-association mapping, maize HapMap2, whole genome strategies for MAS and the concept of etyping (environmental assaying), during his scientific career in Chinese and American universities, international company and research institution. By Feb, 2014, his publications received over 5000 citations with an H index of over 30. His Chinese book Molecular Quantitative Genetics (1994) has been widely used as a textbook in China and his single-authored book Molecular Plant Breeding (2010, CABI) has been recognized worldwide and translated into multiple languages including Chinese and Persian.

He was assistant/associate professor and deputy director of Department of Agronomy, Zhejiang Agricultural University, China (1985-1995); postdoctoral associate, Cornell University, USA (1995-1998); plant molecular biologist and molecular breeder, RiceTec, Inc., Texas, USA (1998-2003); research associate, Cornell University, USA (2003-2006); and maize molecular breeder/senior scientist and the head of Applied Biotechnology Center, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico (2006-2010).


  • Molecular Quantitative Genetics (Yunbi Xu and Lihuang Zhu, 1994, China Agriculture Publisher)

  • Molecular Plant Breeding (Yunbi Xu, 2010, CABI)

  • 140+ refereed journal articles

  • 20+ book chapters and review articles

Academic Membership

  • Associate Editor, Molecular Breeding (April 2006-2013)

  • Editor, Theoretical and Applied Genetics (Oct. 2007- )

  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Plant Genomics (Nov. 2006- )

  • Editor, Journal of Integrative Agriculture (Jan. 2008- )

  • Technical editor, The Crop Journal (Jan. 2013- )

  • Editor, Scientia Agricultura Sinica (Jan. 2007 - )

  • Editor, Acta Agronomica Sinica (Jan. 2007 - )

  • Guest editor for International Journal of Plant Genomics special issue: Genomics of Major Crops and Model Plant Species, (http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijpg/si/707582/)

  • Guest editor for Molecular Breeding special issue: The Third International Conference on Plant Molecular Breeding. (http://www.springerlink.com/content/1380-3743/29/4/)

  • Technical editor for the first issue of The Crop Journal

  • Membership of the Genetics Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, the Rice Genetics Cooperative, the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Researches in Asia and Oceania, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America

Organization of International Meetings

  • Co-organizer, Plant Molecular Breeding workshop, Plant & Animal Genome Conference XXII, January 14, 2014, San Diego, CA, USA,

  • Chair and organizer, Session of Domestication and Molecular Breeding, 9th Solanaceae Conference, August 26-30, 2012, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland

  • Chair and organizer, Marker-Assisted Selection Workshop, 6th International Crop Science Congress, August 6-10, 2012, Bento Goncalves, RS, Brazil

  • Chair and organizer, Workshop “CIMMYT-CAAS-Seed Industry Interface on Rapid-cycle Maize Breeding”, June 9, 2012, Beijing, China

  • Co-organizer, Plant Molecular Breeding Workshop, Plant and Animal Genome XIX Conference, January 15-19, 2011, San Diego, California, USA, co-organized by Zhikang Li (CAAS/IRRI), Yunbi Xu (CAAS/CIMMYT) and Jinguo Hu (USDA)

  • Member of International Organization Committee, The 3rd International Conference on Plant Molecular Breeding, September 5-9, 2010, Beijing, China

  • Co-chair, Topic 8: Molecular Breeding Platform and New Technologies. The 3rd International Conference on Plant Molecular Breeding, September 5-9, 2010, Beijing, China

  • Co-organizer, International Training Course on Maize Molecular Breeding, April 5 – 16, 2010, CIMMYT, El Batan, México

  • Chair and organizer, Mini-Symposium-Maize Molecular Breeding at CIMMYT:  Where Are We and Where Are We Heading? Organized by Maize Molecular Breeding Program of CIMMYT, November 24, 2008, El Batan, Mexico

  • Chair, Symposium 2: Recent Advance in Crop Biotechnology, 5th International Crop Science Congress, 13 to 18 April 2008, Jeju, Korea.

  • Chair and organizer, Molecular Breeding Capacity Building Workshop, June 8 to 14, 2008, Nairobi, Kenya, organized by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

  • Co-organizer, Workshop on Low-cost Gene-based Technologies for MAS Application in Rice and Maize, April 25-27, 2007, Barwale Knowledge and Study Center,  Jalna, Maharashtra, India

The ASTIP Team

He is the PI for one of the national Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP) team, “Molecular Breeding Technologies and Their Applications in Maize”. The team consists of eight research scientists, including Professors Guoying Wang, Wen-Xue Li and Chuanxiao Xie, and associate professors Yongjun Liu, Jun Zheng, Cheng Zou and Junjie Fu, who are experts in maize molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, transgenics and breeding. The key research objective of this team is to develop transgenic and marker-assisted breeding technologies with important impacts on and potential applications in maize.