Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Germplasm Enhancement and Genetic Improvement of Cotton Title: Role of biotechnology in sustainable development of cotton

Author
item Saha, Sukumar

Submitted to: International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2011
Publication Date: September 30, 2011
Citation: Saha, S. 2011. Role of biotechnology in sustainable development of cotton. International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder. XXIX:4-10.

Interpretive Summary: The specific objective of this paper is to provide a report on three specific areas including transgenic technology, marker assisted selection and cotton genome sequencing with reference to the role of biotechnology in cotton improvement. The cotton transgenic research has been used to overcome two major problems in cotton production: 1) the high cost of weed management and 2) the severe yield reduction due to insect infestation especially bollworm. To delay the development of insect resistance to the Cry1Ac gene in cotton lines, at least two or more from Cry2Ab, Cry1F and Cry1Ac genes has been applied in the second generation of Bt genes for controlling bollworm infestation after 2009. The transgenic insect and herbicide resistant cotton lines have demonstrated the great potential of biotechnology in sustainable cotton production. Recent studies showed that the new emerging tool of RNAi technology will also have great impact in providing resistance against pests, nematodes and improving seed quality as a food source. SSR and SNP markers will be used as the potential markers in marker assisted selection (MAS) to augment traditional phenotypic selection with a gel-based DNA marker in the laboratory. Knowledge gained from cotton genome sequencing will improve our understanding of the genes at the molecular levels and help in improving yield and fiber quality. It is high time to consider establishing an independent international cotton research center. The center should recommend the complex, system-oriented solutions based on a knowledge-intensive plan using new emerging biotechnology tools for safe environment and global food and fiber security.

Technical Abstract: The prospect of biotechnology to provide cost-efficient sustainable cotton production under a safe environment for the 21st century is enormous. The role of plant biotechnology in the improvement of cotton is a rapidly evolving area and very broad. The specific objective of this paper is to provide a report on three specific areas including transgenic technology, marker assisted selection and cotton genome sequencing with reference to the role of biotechnology in cotton improvement. The transgenic technologies in cotton are specifically targeted to overcome two major problems in cotton production: 1) the high cost of weed management and 2) the severe yield reduction caused by fruit-feeding lepidopteran insects especially bollworm. To improve the efficiency and delay the development of insect resistance to the Cry1Ac gene in cotton lines, a pyramiding method of at least two or more from Cry2Ab, Cry1F and Cry1Ac genes has been applied in the second generation of Bt genes after 2009. The transgenic insect and herbicide resistant cotton lines have demonstrated the great potential of biotechnology in sustainable cotton production. Recent studies showed that the new emerging tool of RNAi technology will also have great impact in improving seed quality as a food source and also in providing resistance genes against pests and diseases including nematodes. Marker assisted selection (MAS) will provide breeders an efficient selection tool to augment traditional phenotypic selection with a gel-based DNA marker in the laboratory. SSR and SNP markers will be used as the potential markers in MAS to expedite the cotton breeding program. Knowledge gained from decoding the cotton genome will improve our understanding of the genes at the molecular levels and help to unlock the mystery of genetics for improving yield and fiber quality. It is high time to consider establishing an independent international cotton research center. The center should recommend the complex, system-oriented solutions based on a knowledge-intensive plan using new emerging biotechnology tools for global food and fiber security.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page