Indian Universities Develop Bt Cotton Varieties with Reusable Seeds
Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in India has developed genetically engineered Bt cotton seeds that can be reused, thus saving farmers' input costs. These cotton varieties are PAU Bt 1 and F1861. Rajasthan Agricultural University also developed RS 2013. The F1861 and RS 2013 varieties were transformed into Bt version by Central Institute of Cotton Research.
"The notification for these varieties could be out as early as next month after ICAR's scheduled meeting," said Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillion, Vice Chancellor of PAU . He said that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has asked the university to put up proposal regarding the release of these varieties.
Dr. Dhillon also said that the process for multiplying the seeds would begin this year. "We are expecting that by next year we will be able to distribute seeds to farmers for sowing in fields. Surely, by 2019, we will distribute seeds on large scale," he said. The prices of these new Bt cotton seeds are expected to be much lower than the prevailing prices of Bt cotton hybrids.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)