Family | 'Family of Corn' Highlights Love, Harmony

ByZhang Guanfang April 19, 2024

Wu Yongrui and his wife, Wang Wenqin, are scientists. They have worked together in pursuit of achievements in scientific research involving corn, and they have supported each other when they have faced difficulties in their lives. They have a happy family. Their family has been referred to as "a family of corn" by their friends. 

Wu in 2013 established his research team at the Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Shanghai. Wang is a professor of genetics with Shanghai Normal University. Given their common interests, they have worked together when researching corn.

During the past decade, Wu and Wang have led their respective teams in collecting more than 40,000 corn DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) samples, and in testing the amount of protein in more than 20,000 of those samples. During their research, they recovered a gene, called teosinte high protein 9 (THP9). Teosinte, the wild ancestor of corn, has three times the seed protein content of most modern corn strains.

In field trials, conducted by Wu and his team, the protein content increased from 8 to 14 percent, on average. Wu's research has significant meaning, especially in terms of ensuring China's food security, and in ensuring the robust development of China's livestock-breeding and feed-processing industries. In 2022, results of Wu's research were published in the journal, Nature. The same year, Wu won the "Shennong young talent award," presented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Wu and Wang have made outstanding achievements in their scientific research, and their spirit of pursuing excellence and scaling new heights has deeply influenced their three children. 

Wu and Wang believe it is important to help their children form good habits, and to develop strong bodies and minds. Wu Jie, their son, has consistently achieved an excellent academic performance. He also loves sports. The twin daughters, Wu Yanni and Wu Yanzi, began practicing gymnastics when they were 4. They have both obtained the "national first-class athlete" title.

Wu Yongrui and Wang often take their children to patriotic-education bases and museums. They hope their children will grow to love the country, the Party (Communist Party of China), and the family.

"Respect is the key for harmony in the family, while love is the foundation for harmony in the family. Learning is the driving force and health is the guarantee to achieving harmony in the family. These are my family precepts," Wu Yongrui says.

"I hope my children will always be optimistic and healthy, and they will love each other and pass down our family precepts," adds Wang.

Wu Yongrui and Wang are enthusiastic about both social service and public welfare. As volunteers, they have given lectures about science in schools. They have also helped deliver daily necessities to elderly people who live alone.

Wu Yongrui's family was selected a National Most Beautiful Family in 2023. 


Photos from Interviewees

(Women of China English Monthly March 2024)


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