The late Professor Ying Ting
Professor Ying Ting was born in 1888 at Gaozhou County, Guangdong Province, China, and graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo Imperial University in 1924. He was an outstanding argronomist and rice scientist who made major contribution to our understanding of rice cultivation, classification, ecology, and the origin of cultivated rice. He was the first scientist to utilize the common wild rice as parental material in hydridization programs and successfully released a well-known cultivar Zhonghsan 1, which possessed resistance to low temperature and other adverse conditions. Based on a survey of ancient Chinese literature, archaeology, linguistics, and geographical distribution of wild rices, Professor Ting suggested that the cultivated rice originated in South China from the wild rice, Oryza rufipogon Griff. He also designated the two subspecies of O. sativa L., viz., subsp. hsien Ting and subsp. keng Ting (corresponding to indica and japonica, respectively). He and his colleagues developed 60 rice cultivars, and published 140 research papers, of which 34 were collected in a book, "Selected Papers on Rice by Prof. Y. Ting." Professor Ting trained numerous Chinese scientists while teaching at Sun Yat-sen University, College of Agriculture (1924-1951) and South China Agricultural College (1952-1964). He was the first president of South China Agricultural College as well as the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He was elected as academician in 1955. He passed away at Beijing in 1964. (Yong-Keng Lu)
Dr. N. Parthasarathy
Dr. Navalpakkan Parthasarathy was born on August 4, 1900. He graduated from Madras University with B.A. and B.Sc (Agric) degrees. Between 1923 and 1940 he worked as rice breeding assistant at Paddy Breeding Stations of Madras State (presently Tamil Nadu) located at Coimbatore, Aduthurai and Pattambi. In addition to rice breeding work he carried out studies on genetics and cytogenetics of rice.
From 1936-1938, he studied for Ph.D. degree at London University and carried out cytogenetic investigations of X-ray induced mutants of rice for his thesis research. From 1940 to 1947 Dr. Parthasarathy served as sugar cane geneticist cum breeder at sugar cane breeding institute Coimbatore. His work on the origin of indigenous and noble canes, earned him international recognition. As geneticist and head of the botany division of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi from 1947 to 1952 he trained many students in genetics and cytogenetics. As director of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack from 1952 to 1958, Dr. Parthasarathy initiated interdisciplinary research on rice improvement and conducted two international rice breeding courses at CRRI under the sponsorship of FAO.
After his retirement, Dr. Parthasarathy served as FAO rice expert in Indonesia for a year and till April 1968 he was FAO rice improvement specialist for the Far East and Executive Secretary of International Rice Commission in Bangkok, Thailand. During his tenure with FAO, he was closely associated with the activities of International Rice Research Institute and was a member of its board of trustees from 1966 to 1969.
Dr. Parthasarathy was elected a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (1949), president of the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding (1952 and 1970), and president of the Agricultural section of the Indian Science Congress (1953). He was honored by the Indian Government by Padma Sri Award and a medal by the Government of Korea. (G.S. Khush)