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BUA Appoints Antonius Bisseling, a Foreign Member of CAE, as Distinguished Professor
Author: Time:2023-11-08 10:06:52

On the afternoon of October 10, a distinguished professor appointment ceremony was held at BUA's auditorium, where Duan Liusheng, Deputy Secretary of the BUA Committee of the CPC and President of BUA, presented the certificate of distinguished professor to Antonius Bisseling, a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the next five years, Antonius Bisseling will engage deeply in the building of BUA's horticulture discipline, as well as postgraduate cultivation, high-level talent team building, social services, and international cooperation and exchanges in related fields.

Focusing on the interaction and symbiosis between plants and microorganisms, especially nitrogen fixation by root nodules and phosphorus absorption promotion by mycorrhizae, Antonius Bisseling has achieved a series of breakthroughs in this field. His cooperation with BUA dates back to 15 years ago. In 2008, he began to tutor Cao Qingqin, a young teacher BUA sent to the Netherlands for advanced studies. Since 2011, he has visited BUA annually to give academic lectures to BUA's teachers and students. Since 2015, he has been serving as an honorary professor of Beijing Collaborative Innovation Center for Eco-environmental Improvement with Forestry and Fruit Trees at BUA. In 2017, he was appointed the chief scientist of Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design at BUA.

Over the years, relying on BUA's remarkable platforms for scientific research and teaching, Antonius Bisseling has worked with BUA's team in scientific research and social services, and made fruitful achievements. Taking Chinese chestnuts, peaches, and alfalfa as materials, they have studied the formation and nutrition mechanisms of mycorrhizae and root nodules, explored the composition of rhizosphere microbiomes, and separated high-efficiency rhizosphere probiotic strains, thereby revealing the mechanisms behind the longevity of Chinese chestnuts and the continuous cropping barrier for peaches and providing new solutions to soil health management for the fruit tree industry (including Chinese chestnuts and peaches). With BUA as the first completion unit, they have jointly broken the genome-wide genetic code of Chinese chestnuts (GigaScience, 2019), published a paper offering a prospective review of the mechanism of root nodule symbiosis (Science, 2020), revealed the role of chromatin remodeling factor histone deacetylase in root nodule formation (Plant Physiology, 2021), identified over 20 rhizosphere probiotics with significant antagonistic and growth-promoting effects, and successfully applied for six invention patents, providing important strain sources for the development of biological bacterial manure and the improvement of ecological environments. Antonius Bisseling has also established an academician workstation in Pinggu District, Beijing for the research on forests, fruits, and ecological environments and the demonstration of the commercialization of research achievements.

Notably, Antonius Bisseling has made positive contribution to BUA's talent cultivation and faculty building. With a rigorous attitude towards scientific research, an innovative spirit, and great care for students, he has played an important role in guiding the growth of both students and young teachers at BUA. According to Cao Qingqin, a professor from the College of Plant Science & Technology, "He has made great efforts to train high-level talents for our team, and contributed a lot to our success in the past few years, including the rating of our team as a scientific and technological innovation team by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the honorary titles of ‘Beijing's High-level Talent' and ‘Beijing's Science and Technology New Star' granted to our teachers." Li Huchen, a young teacher at BUA, sees Antonius Bisseling as both an academic tutor and a role model in life, saying, "Striving for perfection in work and being kind and positive in daily life, he has been inspiring me to move forward and pursue pragmatic, efficient, and innovative teaching and scientific research."

Yan Jundi, Ge Yueyang, and Bian Huihui, who have graduated from BUA with a Master's degree, are now studying for a doctorate under Antonius Bisseling. Tutored by Antonius Bisseling, Yan Jundi studied the development of plant rhizomes and the symbiotic relationship between plants and microorganisms. Yan said, "With profound knowledge and a sharp mind, he's always been an inexhaustible source of insight to me." Each week, Antonius Bisseling engages in two face-to-face sessions with his doctoral students and one online meeting with BUA's cooperative project team. Ge Yueyang said, "His great passion for scientific research and strong sense of responsibility for students are quite moving. Thanks to his careful tutorship, I've achieved fast growth." Bian Huihui is most impressed by how diligent Antonius Bisseling is, saying, "As a daily routine, he begins to read literature at around 6:00 AM, thinking about how to expand the areas of research. He's a typical example of smarter people working even harder. There is no reason for us students to slacken off."

BUA's appointing Antonius Bisseling as a distinguished professor is a major part of its efforts to implement the project of "Strengthening Education with Talents" proposed at BUA's 4th Party Congress. Following the principles of "leading with high-end disciplines, making breakthroughs in key areas, and achieving overall improvement" with a long-term perspective and a broad mind, BUA will advance the building of a high-level talent team by both introducing and cultivating talents, explore a mechanism for recruiting talents from worldwide, and gather a number of industrial leading talents, outstanding young talents, and high-level innovation teams, so as to provide strong talent support for building a domestically first-class, internationally renowned application-oriented university with a focus on urban agriculture and forestry.

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