Biotech Updates

Triple-gene Transgenic Cotton Exhibits Tolerance Against Insects, Herbicide

November 9, 2022

A group of scientists from Pakistan and China developed a cotton variety with Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab Bt toxin genes that, under field conditions, was found to be effective against cotton bollworms, armyworms, and pink bollworms. It also contained the ESPS gene for herbicide tolerance.

Prior to the field trials that were conducted Tando Jam, Pakistan during Kharif seasons of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the transgenic cotton variety underwent molecular analysis to confirm the presence of the three genes, bioassay tests to prove its resistance against the three insect pests, glyphosate assay for herbicide tolerance, and plant characterization to identify the best-performing transgenic cotton line. The successful line was named NIBGE 20-01 and it showed mortality of more than 90% against the three insect pests. Succeeding tests exhibited the stability of all three genes, and these were inherited by the next generation after being planted under glasshouse and field conditions.

The scientists were prompted to develop the transgenic cotton due to the developing resistance of the pink bollworm against Cry1Ac. They designed the triple gene construct using a strategy where all three genes are cloned in the same T-DNA, followed by successful cotton transformation via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, as these will be helpful for breeders for introgression in elite cultivars.

More details can be found in Scientific Reports.

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