August 31, 2015
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Central Institute has entered into an agreement with Cotton Research (CICR) for developing indigenous BT Cotton.
As part of the process to develop indigenous BT cotton, TNAU has already developed a potent BT gene using which cotton events resistant to the boll worms are being generated. TNAU in collaboration with CICR, Nagpur will further work on the development of indigenous BT cotton, a statement from TNAU 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.
Boll worm infestation has been a serious problem causing enormous yield loss in cotton and farmers are being forced to take up frequent insecticidal sprays. Because of this, conventional breeding to develop boll worm resistant cotton had been 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.