Tie Up Between TNAU & CICR To Produce BT Cotton

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) have entered into an agreement for developing indigenous BT Cotton, the University said in a press release.

TNAU has already developed a potent Bt gene and using this, cotton resistant to the boll worms were produced. The university will now undertake further work on the development of indigenous Bt cotton, released said.

Boll worm infestation was a serious problem causing enormous yield loss in cotton and farmers were forced to take up frequent sprayings of pesticides. Conventional breeding to develop boll worm resistant cotton was difficult due to non-availability of resistance source in cultivated cotton.

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

Meanwhile, top CICR officials have said that the institute will now produce ‘straight’ varieties on a mass scale this year onwards, after the government admitted that the first version of genetically modified crop of Bt cotton by US firm Monsanto was not patented in India.