Indian scientists successful in managing pest resistance in cotton plants

Indian scientists successful in managing pest resistance in cotton plants

The Scientists Amarjeet Kumar Singh, Kumar Paritosh, Uma Kant, Pradeep Kumar Burma and Deepak Pental from the Center for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants and Department of Genetics at the Delhi University developed a new Bt-cotton-technology containing a level of resistance against pests that is four to five times higher than that of common Bt varieties

Their combination of two different procedures using the same Bt-gene (Cry 1AC) in one plant leads to the constant production of a highly dosed Bt-toxin during the whole period of vegetation strikingly fighting insect attacks.

A comprehensive paper titled “High Expressions of Cry1Ac Protein in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) by Combining Independent Transgenic Events that Target the Protein to Cytoplasm and Plastids” was recently published in the academic journal PLOS ONE reporting on their research.

The German Agricultural Scientist Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim from the University of Goettingen on the results of his Indian colleagues: “The research study described in that article is very interesting. It is not yet a ready-made technology that could be approved tomorrow, but a major contribution to the research on avoiding the buildup of resistance in insect pest populations. The new scienti- fic findings can be used for the development and testing of improved Bt-varieties that could be approved within a few years from now. Unfortunately, approval procedures for genetically modified seeds are often protracted and unpredictable due to some groups’ aversion against genetic engineering. Anti-biotech groups have a strong influence on politics, regulation, and public perceptions. Thus, the question when something will enter the market is less technological but rather political. Unfortunately, India is following the European path in terms of overly politicized regulatory procedures for biotech crops.”

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