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China and New Zealand to create a kiwi gene bank

China and New Zealand have agreed to develop a reserve of kiwifruit genes in the southwestern province of Sichuan in China over the next five years, in order to strengthen cooperation in research on this fruit.

The Sichuan Academy of Natural Resources Science and the New Zealand Plant and Food Research Institute opened a joint laboratory this week in Chengdu, the capital of the province.

The researchers will promote the application of big data and genomics through the integration of resources, markets, technologies, and human resources of both countries, with the goal of building the largest kiwi genetic reserve in the world.

This fruit, which is rich in nutrients, is native to China and was brought across the Pacific to New Zealand in 1904.

The director of the laboratory, Li Mingzhang, said the cooperation in the research will allow introducing New Zealand's advanced cultivation technologies into China.

The laboratory has more than 100 sets of advanced scientific equipment, which are used to study storage technology and the prevention and control of bacterial canker, a disease that affects kiwi, Li said.

Kiwi exports from New Zealand account for one third of the global supply. Over the past two years, China has been New Zealand's largest export and import market.

Since 1993, the two countries have cooperated in the rescue and stockpiling of kiwifruit in the area of ​​the Three Gorges Dam. Together they have built in Sichuan the largest bank of kiwi germplasm resources in the world.

Source: Xinhua

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