Biotech Updates

China Develops Second Generation GM Cotton

April 13, 2012

Researchers from Cotton Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) announced in a news conference on March 18 that they have successfully developed GM cotton which has high quality fiber and develops big bolls. Dr. Li Jiayang, Vice Minister of Agriculture, People's Republic of China and President of CAAS lauded the research achievement. Li pointed out that insect pests and low quality fiber have been blocking the development of Chinese cotton industry for a long time. These new germplasm materials mark a breakthrough in the second generation GM cotton research in China.

In the 1990s, Chinese scientists developed insect-resistant Bt transgenic cotton, the first generation GM cotton. Market share increased from 5 to more than 95 percent. However, high quality raw cotton depends on imports due to the low fiber quality of domestic cotton. Research on the second generation GM cotton is being done by the Breeding and Cultivation of New GM Varieties Project, and will help to improve the fiber quality of Chinese cotton. 

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