BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Botanist Wu Zhengyi, winner of China's top science award, died at the age of 97 in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, on Thursday.
An authority in the fields of systematic botany and plant geography, as well as plant diversity, conservation and the sustainable use of plant resources, he was granted the State Scientific and Technological Award for 2007.
Wu, a native of east China's Jiangxi Province, organized several extensive surveys of plant resources in East Asia, especially the biologically-rich Yunnan.
He published research on 1,766 new plant populations in his study of plant taxonomy, making him the top botanist in China in terms of the number of plants that he discovered and named.
Wu proposed establishing nature reserves and a database for wild germplasm resources in China, which contributed to the protection of plant diversity and sustainable use of resources.
The botany professor was also honorary director of the Kunming Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.