This year marks the centenary of the birth of Prof Jie-Liu Xin (1909–1994)—a pioneer and founder of acarology in China. Prof Xin was born in November 1909. By coincidence, the 9th National Congress of Acarology organized by the Entomological Society of China was held at Nanjing Agricultural University during 27–30 November 2009. In September 2009, Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang proposed to Dr Xiao-Yue Hong, the organizer of the Congress, that a special symposium be held during the Congress in memory of Prof Xin and to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Dr Hong agreed and strongly supported this proposal, so did many colleagues who were invited to present lectures. Despite the short notice, we were able to dedicate a special commemorative symposium “Progress in Acarology in China” to Prof Xin during the Congress.
The memorial symposium was held on 28 Nov. 2009 and included twelve invited plenary lectures. Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang opened the symposium with a keynote lecture on “Progress in Systematic Acarology”, during which he provided a brief historic review of systematic acarology from 1758 to 2009 and also a brief account of Prof Xin's career and his major contributions to the development of entomology and acarology in China, with a focus on his books and his role as a pioneer and founder of stored food entomology, insect pathology, insect physiology and acarology in China. This opening lecture was followed by a talk by Prof Lai-Rong Liang (Fudan University, Shanghai), who focused on Prof Xin as a founder of agricultural acarology in China. Prof Ting-Huan Wen (Fudan University, Shanghai) gave a historic overview of medical acarology in China. Prof Dao-Chao Jin (Guizhou University, Guiyang) presented a general lecture on acarine biodiversity. Many of the reviews on research progress in China concern acarine taxa and research areas that Prof Xin pioneered in China: Prof Wei-Nan Wu (Guangdong Entomological Institute, Guangzhou) on the systematics and biology of the Phytoseiidae, Dr Yan-Xuan Zhang (Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Fuzhou) on the application and evaluation of phytoseiids in biological control, Dr Jun Chen on the systematics and biology of the Oribatida, Prof Xiao-Yue Hong (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing) on the systematics and biology of the Eriophyoidea and Tetranychidae, Dr Jian- Zhen Lin (Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Fuzhou) on the systematics and biology of the Tarsonemidae and Bdelloidea, and Prof Jing-Jun Wang (Southwest University, Chongqing) on the pesticide resistance in Panonychus citri. There were also two lectures on ticks: Prof Jing-Ze Liu (Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang) on the comparative studies on the gamogenesis and parthenogenesis of two populations of Haemaphysalis longicornis and Dr Andrew Li (USDA, Texas, USA) on developing novel technologies for the control of ticks of veterinary and medical importance. Dr Qing-Hai Fan (MAF Biosecurity, New Zealand) was unable to attend the symposium, but sent a letter which was read to the symposium by Prof Hong. A memorial volume collecting some of the invited review papers is being edited by Drs Zhang, Hong and Fan for publication in early 2010.
The Congress was also a success with attendance by over 100 delegates from China, New Zealand and USA. It was encouraging to see that most of the participants are graduate students and many of them gave good presentations with excellent results. A well-produced congress proceedings (ii + 102 pages) was presented to each delegate, containing 14 papers on acarine systematics and phylogeny, 7 papers on acarine physiology, 5 papers on acarine ecology and 5 papers on acarine pest control.