TNAU to develop indigenous BT cotton in collaboration with CICR

Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) entered into agreement for developing indigenous BT Cotton.

In order to develop indigenous Bt cotton, TNAU has already developed a potent Bt gene and using this, cotton events resistant to the boll worms were generated, a University release said today.

TNAU in collaboration with CICR, Nagpur will further work on the development of indigenous Bt cotton, it said. Boll worm infestation was a serious problem causing enormous yield loss in cotton and farmers were forced to take up frequent insecticidal sprays and conventional breeding to develop boll worm resistant cotton was difficult due to non-availability of resistance source in cultivated cotton.

With the advent of recombinant DNA and genetic transformation technology, it was possible to introduce a specific gene from a soil bacterium into cotton plant, which expressed a BT protein and has insecticidal activity against the boll worms, it said.

The MoU was signed by Dr C R Anandakumar, Acting vice-chancellor, TNAU and N Gopalakrishnan, Principal scientist, CICR Regional Station, Coimbatore, in the presence Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, Indian Council for Agriculture Research, Delhi and Prof K. Ramasamy, Member, State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu.

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