TAN KAH KEE Science Award

Tan Kah Kee Award in Agricultural Sciences
Lou Chenghou (1911-2009) is a native of Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. He was a phytophysiologist. He graduated from Biology Department of Tsinghua University in 1932. He received his master's degree from Guangzhou Lingnan University in 1934, and his PH. D from University of Minnesota, U.S. in 1939. He was professor of plant physics team, Tsinghua University from 1939 to 1946. He had worked for Hill Physics Research Laboratory of London University from 1946 to 1948. From 1949, he was vice president and professor of Beijing Agricultural University, and Deputy Director-General of China Plant Physics Society. He was elected as academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980.

Lou took the lead in proving that through plasmodesma, there is an intracellular electric couple link in the living tissues of plants. He also showed that electrolytes could transfer in the bioplasm of tissues. He also proved that plasmodesma can change into open channel in proper conditions, allowing large grain such as bioplasm and viruses to pass through. With respect to research concerning the overall reaction in plants adapting to environment variation, Lou found that the transfer of electrochemical waves (action, variance, continual concussion) in the body is not limited to several sensitive plants, but will appear in common plants in proper conditions. When plants in their local parts (such as their root systems) are excited or damaged, or are intimidated by adversity, they will emit electrochemical wave or hormone, which, through vascular bundle, quickly transfer to corona, and produce a reaction on laminae (e.g., pore is closed). He also applied "botanic growth regulator" to regulating crop farming to get rid of field weeds and thus developed a trash coverage farming reduction operation that maintains water and soil in farmland and saves manpower. He also developed a technique of transplantation with seedling cultivation to make effective use of agricultural land in respect of time and space. Finally, Lou initiated research about agricultural modernization in drought area and wrote a book: On Agricultural Modernization in Drought Area of North China, which described the characteristics of agricultural production in China and established the idea of modernized agricultural service. Lou was given Ho Leung Ho Lee Award for Science and Technology Advancement in life sciences in 1996.
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