A Syngenta scientist who led a project on soybean and sunflower disease control has been chosen as Seed World‘s Future Giant of the Seed Industry for 2018. Qingli Liu is being featured in the September issue of Seed World to celebrate his honor.
As project lead for soybean and sunflower disease control at the Syngenta Innovation Center in Research Triangle Park, Liu spent the last five years developing broad resistance strategies that could provide new options to control disease, beyond fungicides.
Liu’s most significant achievement to date was discovering a method that allowed Syngenta to produce soybeans with tolerance to Asian Soybean Rust, a disease that costs farmers over $2 billion annually. The disease can cause up to 80 percent yield loss in Latin American fields, with potential for complete defoliation if left untreated. He is currently working to apply his methodology to other crops affected by major diseases.
Liu was nominated for the honor by his supervisor, Joseph Watts, for Liu’s ability to advance the trait discovery and development process so that the technology can be delivered into the market faster.
“It is rare to make a major scientific discovery, but it is even rarer to drive that discovery forward into a viable product to solve an unmet need in the world,” Watts said. “Qingli’s ability to bring technology from the lab into the field to conquer one of the world’s most intractable plant diseases in less than five years is evidence that he will be a Future Giant of the Seed Industry.”