AAS honours Jianping Ren with ornamental breeding achievement

CHICAGO, USA: On Friday, September 18, 2020, All-America Selections honoured an individual with impressive plant breeding credentials by presenting the 2020 AAS Breeder’s Cup award at the first-ever virtual Judge’s Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

With the 2020 Summer Summit in Vancouver postponed until September of 2021, this year’s award presentation was held virtually with dozens of AAS Judges and peers of the recipient virtually present to show their support and send their congratulations.

The AAS Breeders Cup Award was established in 2004 to recognise a plant breeder who dramatically influenced horticulture by breeding new cultivars that brought significant improvements to those classes.

All-America Selections is very proud to announce that the 2020 Breeder’s Cup Award recipient is Dr. Jianping (Ping) Ren, Sr. plant breeder at PanAmerican Seed Co.

With 2020 being the 25th anniversary of Wave petunias, the timing of this award is quite significant and memorable.  In her acceptance speech Ping Ren said, “It is a great honour to receive this AAS Breeder Cup. Thank you to the All-America Selections staff, Board of Directors, all the AAS Judges, my peers at PanAmerican and Ball and to the person who nominated me. Thank you very much for an incredible and memorable award ceremony! It is humbling to join the rest of the recipients of this noteworthy award.”

Ping Ren earned her Ph.D. from the Plant Breeding Department at Cornell University where she worked on vegetable breeding two years before joining the flower industry. Ping joined PanAmerican Seed in 2001 as a flower plant breeder. For the past 20 years, Ping has worked on Petunia, Calibrachoa, Gaillardia and Echinacea. There is a long list of about 150 vegetative and seed propagated varieties coming from Ping’s breeding, a number of which are the recipients of horticultural industry awards including All-America Selections.

The six varieties that have won AAS awards are: the first F1 Gaillardia Mesa Yellow (2010), Echinacea PowWow Wild Berry (2011), ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ (2013), Sombrero Baja Burgundy (2019), Petunia Tidal Wave Red Velour (2015) and Wave Carmine Velour (2018). Many of these varieties have also earned multiple other industry awards.

In addition, Ping’s co-invention of the petunia green corolla (gc) allele gene has been broadly used in petunia breeding across the industry, resulting in the introduction of numerous unique colours of petunia associated with the gc allele. Ping’s outstanding work has significantly benefited and influenced our flower industry.

In recent years, Ping’s breeding has focused on Wave Petunia, Sombrero / Double Scoop and Artisan Echinacea. Ping reports that she really enjoys her work and is always excited to develop new flowers that can add beauty to the world. She is extremely grateful for the encouragement, support, and teamwork from all her colleagues and friends who continue to enable her success. Finally, she wants to thank her family, especially her Mom, as all of her accomplishments are from her mom’s love and sacrifice.

“We feel very fortunate to have Ping Ren as a breeder at PanAmerican Seed. She has bred so many amazing products and has inspired and motivated everyone around her with her hard work, drive and creativity. She sets the bar for flower breeding very high indeed”, said  PanAmerican President Anne Leventry.

“It’s a great pleasure working with Ping in the Wave program. She is passionate, creative and always keeps first-of-mind that the products fulfill the promise of the Wave Brand performance. Her striving for excellence and the high expectations she sets for herself is motivation for those of us who have the good fortune to work with her. The AAS Breeder’s Cup is a well-deserved recognition for Ping,” says PanAmerican Seed Portfolio Manager Lisa Lacy.

All-America Selections, the breeders, judges, board of directors and all the companies they represent, proudly salute this industry achiever who humbly and quietly has done so much for the industry, including the promotion of All-America Selections Winners.

For more information, visit http://www.all-americaselections.org

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