Preamble

Cotton plays a key role in the national economy in terms of direct and indirect employment and income generation in the agricultural and industrial sectors. Textiles and related exports of which cotton constitutes nearly 65%, account for nearly 33% of the total foreign exchange earnings of our country which at present is around 12 billion dollars with a potential for a significant increase in the coming year.

India is the only country to grow all the four species of cultivated cotton Gossypium arboreum and G.herbaceum (Asian cotton), G.barbadense (Egyptian cotton) and G.hirsutum (American upland cotton) besides hybrid cotton. Gossypium hirsutum represents 90% of the hybrid cotton in India and all the current Bt cotton hybrids are G.hirsutum.

Cotton is cultivated in three distinct agro-ecological regions (north, central and south) of the country. India has the largest acreage (103.29 lakh.ha) under cotton which accounts for 33% of the global cotton area and has the productivity of 517 kg lint/ha and ranks second in production (295 lakh bales) during 2009-10. It contributes to 23% of the global cotton produce. Approximately 65% of India's cotton is produced on dry land and 35% on irrigated lands. The northern zone is almost totally irrigated, while the percentage of irrigated area is much lower in the central (23%) and southern zones (40%). The lowest being in the central zone, which has nearly 60% of cotton area of our country. Under the rainfed growing conditions rainfall ranges from <400 to > 900 mm coupled with aberrant precipitation patterns over the years leading to large-scale fluctuations in production. In the irrigated tract canal and well irrigation are resorted to including the use of micro-irrigation system.

India has become a significant exporter of cotton since 2005/06 due to successive bumper crop and the second largest exporter next to USA, particularly in the year 2009/10 India has exported around 81 lakh bales which is around 18% of the total world export. As per DGCIS estimate India has exported 919 Metric tonnes of cotton in terms of raw cotton, waste and yarn in the year 2008/09 and the figure increased to 1605 metric tonnes in the year 2009/10 which is around 43% increase over 2008/09. It is estimated that around 20 million farmers cultivate cotton in India and about 46 million persons are employed directly by the ginning pressing, trade, knitting, handloom, processing and cotton related textile industry. There are more than 38 million spindles, five lakh rotors, 1687 spinning mills, and an estimated 180 composite mills under Non-SSI in India. Therefore cotton production in India is considered to have a wide reaching impact not only on the livelihood of farmers and economy of the country, but also on international trade.

The north zone (Punjab, Haryana and Rajastan) occupies only 11.39% of the total cultivated area but contributes around 11.29% of the production and varieties /hybrids (including Bt hybrids) limited to only G.hirsutum and G.arboreum. The central zone (Maharahtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat ), occupying more than 67.23% of the total area but contributes around 62.11% to the total production and is characterized by rampant proliferation of hybrids. Bt technology has been extensively adopted in this region. The south zone (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) is typical of all types of cotton, hybrids (inter and intra-specific, diploid and tetraploid) and varieties (diploid and tetraploid). The south zone is occupying 20.11% of area and contributing nearly 25.19% in national production. Among the major cotton growing states Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh which constitutes 77% of the cotton area and produces around 77% of the total cotton produce of the country.


Keeping in view the importance of this crop in our national agricultural and economic scenario, it received special attention of the Government earlier through Indian Central Cotton Committee and now through the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

Further the research efforts under All India Coordinated Cotton Improvement Project. (AICCIP) were initiated by the Council in the year 1967. The establishment of AICCIP gave new fillip and direction in terms of multi- disciplinary and multi-centre approaches with the active involvement of State Agriculture Universities.

With a view to develop a Centre of excellence for carrying out long term research on fundamental problems limiting cotton production and also to provide basic support to location specific applied research work being carried out in a network of cotton research centres in the country through the AICCIP system, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has established the Central Institute for Cotton Research at Nagpur in April, 1976.

The erstwhile Regional Station of lARl at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) became a part of CICR simultaneously to cater to the needs of southern cotton zone. In the year 1985, the IARI Regional Station at Sirsa (Haryana) was transferred to CICR as a regional centre for the northern irrigated cotton zone.

Head Quarters, Nagpur
Regional Station Coimbatore
Regional Station, Sirsa

Vision

Improving production and quality of Indian Cotton (including the development of transgenics resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses) with reduced cost to make cotton production cost effective and competitive in the national and global market.

Mission

To develop economically viable and eco-friendly production and protection technologies for enhancing quality cotton production by 2-3% every year on a sustainable basis for the next fifteen years (till 2025).

The organisation

The Institute has three Divisions at Nagpur to undertake basic, strategic and futuristic (including some frontier areas) research and transfer of technology programmes specifically for the rainfed central cotton zone.

Divisions

Crop Improvement (Genetics, Cytogenetics, Plant Breeding, PGR, Biotechnology and Seed Technology), Crop Production (Agronomy, Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Statistics, Plant Physiology, Biochemistry, Agricultural Economics, Extension), Crop Protection (Agricultural Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology)
At the regional station Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) the basic, fundamental and applied research programme with specific reference to the location specific requirements of the southern cotton zone are being carried out in the following disciplines: Plant Breeding, Genetics, Agronomy, Soil Science, Agricultural Chemistry, Plant Physiology, Bio-chemistry, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Seed Technology, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Statistics and Computer Applications. A fibre-testing unit is also functioning at the regional station Coimbatore .

The regional station at Sirsa (Haryana) situated in the northern cotton belt is primarily concerned with the R & D requirement for the irrigated northern zone. The basic, fundamental and applied research work is being undertaken in the following disciplines: Plant Breeding, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Seed Technology.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)

Since, 1994, a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) for the Nagpur district came into being under the aegis of this Institute and is located in the Institute premises CICR Nagpur. (...more)

Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC)

Access to information, dissemination and adoption or application are important dimensions of a development system. It is a fact that several useful technologies evolved are confined within research organizations. In this context, the Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) of CICR was established in the year 2000. ATIC plays a major role in dissemination of information regarding various agricultural sciences, anima~ husbandry, sericulture, apiculture and training pertaining to different topics of agricultural sciences, to farmers, farm women, horticulturists and dairy men through its publication and information system.

Other service sections such as RCM Unit, Farm Section, Library, Art & Photography, Administration and Accounts support the research activities of the Institute.

Laboratories

Nagpur :

The main laboratory and administrative building was completed in the year 1986 and all the laboratories and the administrative wings were shifted to the new premises at Panjri Farm. Gradually over the years, good laboratories came into being in different disciplines with ample working space, sophisticated instruments, centrally air-conditioned laboratories, good computer facilities etc. Renovation and modernization work undertaken recently provided a face lift and elegance to the existing work sites and laboratories. The Institute at present is having reasonably good laboratories, even though considerable scope exists for rendering them state of art, keeping in view the emergence of some of the frontier areas of research such as genetic engineering, biotechnology etc. Separate buildings for germplasm and seed storage have come up to house the cold storage modules and Seed processing infrastructure. Insectary / Bio-control lab is ready for mass production of bio- agents. Pot house facilities in terms of glass house and three net houses were also constructed during the past.

Coimbatore :

The laboratories in the initial stages were located in different buildings. After the construction of another laboratory building adjacent to the Silver Jubilee Building, most of the laboratories are presently functioning in these two buildings. The infrastructures viz., insectary building, Seminar Hall, Polyhouse, Farm store house (New area farm) and rooms for instruments, Plant tissue culture lab, Growth Chamber have been created recently. Advanced equipment like Image analyser, gel documentation system, inverted fluorescent microscope, porometer, digital spectrophotometer, high volume instrument etc. have been added to the laboratories. Good computer facilities with V-SAT connectivity are also available. A separate administrative block is being added on the first floor of main building. An advanced DUS Testing laboratory is being created in the existing seed storage building.

Sirsa :

The laboratories inherited from the erst-while IARI Regional Station were strengthened with the provision of some sophisticated equipment and facilities including computer facility.

Library

Nagpur From a modest beginning in 1976, the Institute has built up a reasonably good library facilities in terms of research journals (Indian & foreign), annual reviews, books, reports, reprints, proceedings etc. The library has a collection of about 3200 books, 4000 periodicals, 3000 reports & bulletins and 60 journals (20 foreign and 40 Indian) pertaining to various disciplines with special reference to cotton are being subscribed. Seven hundred reprints on cotton from the journals which are not being subscribed by the library have been collected.

Library has developed and designed 'Computerized Bibliographic Data-base on Cotton' to provide comprehensive and exhaustive information on cotton literature. Documentation services, such as Current awareness services, Retrospective search services, SDI service are being provided by using the data-base.

A quarterly abstracting bulletin entitled 'Cotton Research Abstracts' i$ being brought out on a regular basis and circulated to all the cotton research centres in the country. At Coimbatore and Sirsa centres moderate library facilities are also available and which are being strengthened.

Library provides CD-ROM database search & retrieval service by using following databases.

1) CAB Abstracts 2) CROPCD 3) AGRICOLA 4) AGRIS 5) BIOTLCH ABSTRACTST

At Coimbatore , moderate library facilities are available in terms of few foreign and Indian journals and books.

At Sirsa, limited library facilities are available in terms of few journals and books.

ARIS Cell

An Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) was established in the Institute in 1996, under which Local Area Network has been developed with capacity for more than 70 nodes through structural cabling within the building and fibre optics between buildings. E-mail and internet facilities have been created and a V-SAT has been installed for effective communication considering the locational disadvantages of the Institute. ARIS completed updating permisnet information bank and CICR Website. ARIS procured digital videography, software, antivirus and external storage devices.

Research Farm

Nagpur :

In the initial stages the Institute had two farms for field research one of 41. 77 hectares at Panjri and another of20 ha. at Phutala onNational High Way No.6. After shifting to the main building in 1986, the farm at Phutala was handed over to Dr. PDKV. Simultaneously the Institute has acquired additional land of 134.32 ha. adjacent to Panjri Farm. Now a comprehensive block of 176.09 ha. is available for the institute needs at Panjri Farm. Concerted efforts were made within the allocated funds to ,develop the entire farm into a good research farm in terms of creation of blocks, levelling and digging of tubewells for providing irrigation to some specific areas etc. Labour sheds and farm buildings were constructed in each of the three blocks. Pucca roads are being laid to cover part of the farm area. Seven farm ponds of varying capacities for harvesting runoff water and enabling its reuse were created.

Coimbatore :

The regional station has two farms, one farm of 18 ha. near TNAU where the regional station buildings are located. This is a well developed farm with good irrigation facilities for conducting research on irrigated cotton. Farm office building was constructed recently to accommodate the farm infrastructure. The other farm of 20 ha. is situated near the Sugarcane Breeding Institute and is nearly 6 km away from the main research farm.

Sirsa :

The regional station has well developed farm with 20 ha. of land with irrigation facilities for research purpose.

All the three research farms are well equipped with tractors and other farm implements and efforts are underway to initiate further developmental work in all the farms.

RCM Unit

RCM unit assists the Director in coordinating the research and technical activities of the Institute including the Institute publications, research project files, technical correspondence, compilation of technical and allied reports, organization of scientific meetings, workshops, seminars, regional committee meetings etc.,

Rajbhasha Section

To give an impetus to the use of Hindi in Administrative and technical matters, the Rajbhasha Section has been established in the Institute. This section provides assistance in bringing out publications in Hindi (technical and general) and also look after the implementation of Hindi in the day to day work of the lnstitute. One such Rajbhasha Section is also functioning at CICR reginal station Coimbatore.

Museum

At Nagpur a good museum depicting the activities and achievements of the Institute has been constructed. At regional station Coimbatore a small museum depicting the salient findings and improved technologies is available.

Guest House

At Nagpur , common Guest House facility is available in the city within the premises of ICAR residential complex shared with NBSS & LUP. Besides, a new well furnished Training Hostel is also available at the Institute premises. At regional station Sirsa, small guest house is available.

Transport

At Nagpur , to cater to the commuting needs of the staff to the Institute, located 14 kms. away from the city transport facility assumes considerable importance. The Institute at present has one 52 seater bus, 2 mini buses, 3 jeeps and one staff car. At Coimbatore : Three jeeps are available for meeting the transport needs. At Sirsa regional station has one jeep catering to the requirements local .

Committes

Within the framework of the Institute various committees are functioning, sub-serving the purpose of research, planning, staff welfare and grievances. The Research Advisory Committee constituted by the Council consisting of Eminent Scientists in various discipline provides the broad guidelines in terms of thrust areas and approaches. This committee meets every year to monitor the implementation of the Institute research programmes and provides the guidance and advice to achieve the institute mandate.

Institute Management Committee (IMC) :

The Institute Management Committee has representatives from the state Govt., SAUs, ICAR and the farming community with the Director as its Chairman. The Institute Management Committee has broad powers to oversee R & D activities of the Institute in respect of the plan proposals and periodical review of R & D activities. The Management Committee meets regularly to review implementation of the programmes and recommend new proposals for strengthening after through review.


Institute Research Council (IRC):

The IRC is functioning at all the three centres of the Institute meeting atleast twice a year. In the IRC meeting the research programmes of the Institute/Reg. Station are comprehensively reviewed and the technical programme approved for implementation. The new project proposals submitted by the scientists are also considered critically and approved. The IRC meeting are chaired by the Director.

Official Language Implementation Committee:

Official Language Implementation Committee is functioning with a view to sensitizing the officials about the official language policy of the government. In the meeting reviewed the progress made in the implementation of official language (Hindi) in official work. The meetings are chaired by the Director.

Institute Joint Staff Council:

This forum comprises of elected representatives from the staff side belonging to Technical, Administrative and Supporting categories. The Director, who is its chairman, nominate the members from the official side. At its quarterly meetings the Council takes stock of varied problems affecting a group or a section as well as to look after the welfare of the staff.

Grievance Cell

A grievance cell consisting of elected representatives from the different cadres including Scientific, Technical, Administrative and Supporting along with the staff side representatives (nominated members) is in existence primarily to look into grievances of the staff members and suggest remedial action.

Research Highlights

The main mission of CICR is to improve the production, productivity and profitability of cotton cultivation in all the distinctly different agro-ecological cotton growing zones of the country through the development of relevant, feasible and economically viable and ecologically friendly production and protection technologies including the development of improved varieties and hybrids and fundamental research pursuits in all the disciplines to further our understanding of the crop vis-��-vis the ambient biotic and abiotic environment.

The past achievements of the Institute are summarized below:

Crop Improvement

Cotton Gene Bank

The National Centre for Cotton Genetic Resources with more than 9000 accessions of the four cultivated species of Gossypium and twenty four wild species,20 perennials, six races of G.arboreum and seven races of G.hirsutum, one race of G.barbadense,one race of G.herbaceum and 32 interspecific hybrids are maintained in the species garden at CICR,Nagpur.Germplasm lines were screened and number of lines with good agronomic traits, superior fibre quality and resistance to pests and diseases were identified and distributed to end-users.

Varietal Improvement

  • The Institute has released ten varieties of G.hirsutum (MCU 5 VT,LRA 166,Supriya,Kanchana,Anjali,CNH36,Arogya,Surabhi,Sumangala and CNH 120 MB),one variety of G.arboreum (CISA 310),seven intra-hirsutum hybrids (Savitha, Surya, Kirthi, Omshankar, CSHH 198, CSHH 238 and CSHH 243), two hirsutum x barbadense (inter-specific) hybrids (HB 224 and Shruthi),and one intra arboreum CISAA 2 hybrid.
  • The ��Bt' gene has been introgressed in more than thirty genotypes/varieties having good agronomic base through back crossing. The Bt varieties are intended for release in north, central and south zone. The materials are in BC 2 and BC 3 generations.
  • Several multiple adversity resistant (MAR) lines having resistance against grey mildew, Alternaria leaf spot and bacterial leaf blight have been developed.
  • Study of different methods of breeding and selection for improvement of seed oil and lint characters resulted in identification of high yielding early maturing cultures with improved oil content. Bi-parental selection was found to be ideal for transferring high oil content. Crosses between genetically diverse parents had greater degree of heterosis for oil.
  • Two promising semi dwarf cultures (CNH 123 and CNH 155) with high yield potential and amenability to closer spacing have been developed and are in advanced stages of testing in All India Coordinated Cotton Improvement Project trials.
  • Cytomorphologically stable male sterile plants have been identified in the derivatives of multispecies hybrids involving wild species G.raimondi, G.thurberi and cultivated species G.hirsutum and G.barbadense.
  • Wild species were used for introgression of useful characters and also for identifying new source of CMS. Elite lines with economic attributes and marker genes were isolated in the inter-specific hybrid derivatives. Genes for immunity to bacterial blight was introgressed into G.hirsutum from G.anomalum and dwarf early maturing bacterial blight immune variety NISD-2 was evolved.
  • Factors associated with drought tolerance were assessed and promising drought tolerant cultures CNDTS-2, CNDTS-3, CNDTS-5 and CNDTS23 were identified.
  • Anatomical and biochemical studies revealed that gossypol content in ovary was the most critical factor associated with bollworm tolerance.
  • Breeder seed production is being taken up in the Institute. Hard seed coat was found to be inherited from female parent. Exposure of seed to 90 o C in water or soaking the seed in ethyl alcohol for 10 minutes helped in overcoming hard seed coat.
  • NAA (20 ppm) and DAP (2%) sprayed four times during crossing period-improved hybrid seed yield. To overcome the adverse effect of injury during emasculation, application of GA 3 (50 ppm) and resulted in improved boll-setting and hybrid seed yield.
  • Topping 30 days after square initiation and foliar application of Lihocin (50 ppm) improved the seed quality. Trimming of parents of GMS based hybrids facilitated cultivation of three crops with 30 to 40% reduction in seed production cost. Higher dose of nitrogen followed by foliar application of boron and zinc improved seed quality and yield. Employing honeybees for hybrid seed production was not found feasible in cotton.
  • Coating of cotton seeds with Thiram @ 2 g kg -1 + Gypsum @ 60 g kg -1 + Micronutrient @ 20 g kg -1 +Imidacloprid @ 7 g kg -1 + DAP @ 20 g kg -1 in five layers sequentially were found to significantly enhance the viability.

Biotechnology

  • Bt transgenic cotton for insect resistance
  • A cotton regeneration protocol was standardized for direct shoot organogenesis using shoot tip or meristem explants. This protocol curtailed genotype dependent regeneration in cotton.
  • A simple, reproducible protocol for genetic transformation and direct shoot organogenesis was standardized with Indian genotype. Elite Indian cotton G.hirsutum cultivars LRA 5166 and Anjali (LRK 516) and G.arboreum cultivars RG-8, PA 255,PA 402 were transformed
  • With cry1 Ac, cry1 Aa3 and cry1 F genes. The transformed plants were analyzed for Bt gene integration by PCR and Southern hybridization and protein expression assayed by ELISA test.
  • Three cotton genotypes viz., LRA 5166, Anjali and RG 8 each transformed individually with three Bt genes viz., cry1Ac and cry1Aa3 and cry1F have been developed and are being tested in the RCGM trial.

CLCuV-resistance transgenic cotton

  • CLCuV susceptible genotypes, viz, HS 6, H 777 and F 846 were transferred with three genes constructs viz., Sense coat protein (SCP), anti-sense coat protein (ACP) and antisense Rep (A-Rep). All the transformed plants are characterized by molecular techniques.
  • Work is initiated to develop CLCuV resistant transgenic cotton through dsRNAi mediated silencing of viral genes. Plasmids vectors of pKB-Gus (3.9 kb) and pKB-intron developed for generating RNA interference constructs for gene disruption.
  • An RAPD marker associated with CLCuV resistance was identified. The RAPD fragment was converted into a SCAR marker based on which a set of specific primer capable of identifying CLCuV resistance by amplification of a 1.7 kb DNA fragment.

Improvement of fibre strength

  • Attempts are being made to clone cellulose synthase gene (AthA and AthAB) from Arabidopsis which brings about rapid conversion of carbon to UDP glucose to facilitate high fibre strength. cDNA clones were made and the expected amplicons were subjected to sequence analysis and work is in progress.

DNA Finger Printing

  • All the wild species available in CICR were characterized by using RAPD and ISSR molecular markers.
  • Eleven cotton hybrids alongwith their parents and 13 cultivars were characterized at the molecular level and specific markers were identified for testing genetic purity
  • SCAR markers and specific primers designed to identify three cotton hybrids Savitha, Shruthi and Surya.
  • Fingerprinting of 56 race 18 strains of Xam with RAPD,IS112,ERIC,Box,Rep-PCR primers and RFLP markers revealed wide genetic variability, grouping them in 10-15 distinct clusters.

Drought Resistance Genes

  • Intensive efforts are underway to clone and characterize native genes from cotton viz., protease inhibitor involved in pest resistance and osmotin and dehydrin genes that govern tolerance of cotton to drought.

Molecular breeding

  • Making framework linkage maps in diploid cotton (A genome) and G.hirsutum has been initiated. Priority is for making fibre quantity traits(QTLs) such as fibre strength ,fibre length and micronaire, oil content and also ginning outturn a major economics trait in diploid and tetraploid cotton. Mapping populations for these traits have been developed in diploid as well as G.hirsutum. The growing information on these aspects will help in Market Assisted Selection (MAS) in cotton.
  • Species specific primers and PCR protocols developed for precise detection and differentiation of four major economically important fungal pathogens of cotton viz., R. areola, R. bataticola, R. solani and A. macrospora.

Nodule Induction in Cotton

  • Cotton plants were subjected to root nodule induction by Rhizobium fredii. Six individual plants of Anjali and two of LRA 5166 produced nodules in their root system. Although bacteriods were present in the nodules, nitrogenase activity was not recorded. The observation opens up the possibility of nodulation and nitrogen fixation by virulent Rhizobia in non-legume plants like cotton.

Crop Production

Water Management

Ridge and furrow system

  • Out of the various moisture conservation practices, tested over the years in 40 farmers field on upper, middle, lower and bottom top sequences, moisture conservation practice of opening furrows in alternate rows across the slope was evaluated as the best system and effective in reducing runoff, increasing percolation, conserving water and improving the recharge capacity of irrigation wells.

Rain Water Management-Watershed approach:

  • About 4-5 lakh litres of excess run-off water can be harvested from one-hectare catchments area, which can be stored in fields ponds of size 18x18x3 m.
  • 0.7 to 1.0 ha area in medium deep and deep soils could be irrigated at early boll to peak development stage using harvested rainwater.

Recycling of harvested rain water

  • One irrigation at peak boll development stage was found economical. One protective irrigation to cotton @ 4 ha-cm of water maintained superiority over in-situ moisture conservation and enhanced seed cotton yield by more than one q/ha.
  • Skip row (2:1) irrigation or alternative furrow irrigation have proved most profitable in saving irrigation water affecting seed cotton yield.

Micro Irrigation Management

  • Irrigation with drip and fertilizer application through fertigation saved 50% water and 25% nutrients with increased productivity.
  • To reduce the cost of drip irrigation system, poly tube lateral (600 gauge) were used, which was found to give maximum gross return (Rs.47951/ha), net return (Rs.17151/ha) and benefit cost ratio (1.56).
  • Growing cotton under polymulch enhanced seed cotton by 2.32 fold besides 40% water saving and complete control of weeds.

Nutrient Management

  • Sulphur coated urea and neem cake coated urea improved the efficiency of applied nitrogen as compared to normal application of urea under irrigated condition, while for the rainfed conditions urea + FYM followed by neem cake treated urea were found to be efficient.
  • Supplementing half of the recommended dose of fertilizer N with FYM viz. N30 P30 K30 + 5 t FYM/ha and N45 P45 K46 + 7.5 t FYM/ha significantly increased seed cotton yield over N60 P30 K30 and N90 P45 K45 besides improving the soil organic matter status in rainfed cotton varieties and hybrid respectively, grown in Vertisols.
  • Sulphur application @ 10 kg/ha significantly increased the seed cotton yield and dry matter production in LRA-5166 while in H4 (an intraspecific hybrid) a linear response upto 20 kg/ha was observed.
  • Cotton under rainfed conditions responded to phosphate application at 40 kg P2O5/ha placed at 7.5 cm depth in Vertisols.
  • Foliar application of 2% urea or DAP at 60 and 80 DAS improved the seed cotton yield by 15% in cotton varieties and hybrids.
  • In the studies on long term effect of nutrient management, cotton- sorghum rotation out yielded cotton monocrop by 38%. G.arboreum out yielded G.hirsutum by 32-35%.
  • Alternate sprays of potassium @ 1% and DAP @ 2% concentration (two to three sprays each at 15 days interval from first blooming) was beneficial for high yielding, high strength, and higher cotton counts.
  • Seed treatment with biofertilisers (Azotobacter chrococcum and Azospirillum brasiliense) with half the recommended nitrogen dose gave seed cotton yield more than the recommended dose of fertilizers
  • Micro nutrient application @ 10kg Zn,10 Kg Mn and 3 Kg B/ha with 75 % soil and 25 % foliar spray) improved seed cotton yield by 25 % under two supplemental irrigations.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE)

  • Use of Neem cake coated urea and 5% gypsum coated urea was found to increase seed cotton yield and NUE.
  • Nitrogen application in 3 splits half as basal, ¼ at 45 DAS and ¼ at boll development was beneficial for varieties as well as hybrids under rainfed conditions.

Stabilising productivity: Resource poor soils

  • Application of FYM @ 5 t/ha, soil incorporation of in-situ grown legume and further addition of 10 t/ha subabul or sesbania lopping at 45 DAS supplied available nutrients and also helped in conserving 2% additional moisture, resulting in increasing seed cotton yields by 15-20% over the recommended N60 P30 K30 in resource poor soils.

Soil Depth

  • Soil depth plays an important role in yield maximization of rainfed cotton. Seed cotton yield was increased with increasing soil depth. Maximum seed cotton yield has been recorded in deep (>90cm) soils and the minimum in shallow (<45 cm) soils. However, the optimum soil depth for rainfed cotton cultivation was evaluated in between 67 to 110 cm soil depth.

Efficient cotton based cropping systems

  • Green gram, black gram and soybean were identified as suitable intercrops for varieties grown in wider spacing (90 cm) and hybrids. For irrigated southern region, cowpea and small onion were found to be best suited for intercropping.
  • Of the several soybean genotypes, five were identified compatible for intercropping with cotton Punjab 1, TAS 40, Pusa 16, PK 472 and PKV 1.
  • Cotton intercropped with cowpea harbours more of coccinellids and in addition to higher parasitisation.
  • Intercropping of greengram with cotton enhanced maximum WUE of cotton by 2.46 kg ha-1 mm-1, while blackgram (2.40 kg ha-1 mm-1) and the minimum (2.01 kg ha-1 mm-1) under control. Similarly, two irrigations, first at flowering and second at boll development stage has given maximum (3.20 Kg ha -1 mm -1 ),WUE closely followed by (3.11 Kg ha -1 mm -1 ) one irrigation at peak boll development stage and the minimum(2.20 kg ha -1 mm -1 )under control.
  • Maize when grown as a rotation crop after cotton in the same polymulch sheet with zero tillage, gave 2.78 tonnes/ha of additional yield than conventional system.
  • The highest seed cotton yield (14.2 q/ha) and the maximum gross return (Rs. 23445/ha) was obtained with intercropping of one row black gram between cotton rows which was closely followed by cotton + green gram intercropping system (14.2 q/ha) and cotton + soyabean system (13.9 q/ha) under rainfed condition.
  • Multitier intercropping of radish and amaranthus planted between cotton rows under normal planting method registered the higher gross return (99%), net return (252%),benefit cost ratio (81%) and seed cotton equivalent yield (99%) than sole cotton crop.
  • Diversification of cotton by rotating with jowar (Sorghum bicolor) for both grain and fodder has substantial benefits in terms of quantity and quality of outputs besides improvement of soils.

Tillage and residue management

  • Reduced tillage system comprising pre-plant qherbicide application and one pass of harrow and two inter-row cultivation for early and late season weed control, respectively, was found to be a viable technology to cotton growers of Central India.
  • Deep ploughing once in two years before cotton sowing was found effective in increasing the yield of irrigated cotton wheat system.
  • Conventional tillage (one time disc + two time cultivator) for irrigated wheat was found beneficial in increasing the yield of irrigated cotton-wheat system.
  • Cotton stalk and wheat straw shredded and incorporated in the soil after crop harvest was found helpful in improving soil fertility and yield of cotton- wheat system under irrigated conditions.

Bio-fertilizers

  • Application of Azotobacter, in combination with Azospirillum + PSB without organic manure and fertilizers has been found to result in a 25 % saving of nitrogenous fertilizers without any reduction in yield.
  • Bio-inoculants tolerant against synthetic and adverse climatic conditions were identified for use in cotton-wheat/soybean based cropping systems with 11-15 % improved yields.
  • Pink pigmented facultative methylotroph (PPFM) isolated from cotton phyllosphere has improved the vigour index of cotton and helped in Sulphur oxidation and P solubilization.

Mechanization

  • Bullock and tractor drawn cotton planters were developed.

Organic cotton production

  • Technology for organic cotton production using organic soil amendmentsAnd biocontrol based pest management with the following key inputs was developed.

Abiotic Stress Management

  • Drought tolerance: The drought tolerance in Asiatic cotton was found to be associated with deep root system, higher root/shoot ratio and leaf transpirational cooling, whereas in American cotton enhanced leaf water status due to higher stomatal resistance led to dehydration avoidance tolerant genotypes possessed higher antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase and peroxides. Application of pix (25 or 50 ppm) at floral initiation stage and kaolin (12%) one month after cessation of rains was found to enhance the water use efficiency.
  • Salinity tolerance: Most of the cotton cultivars and germplasm lines could with stand salinity levels of 7 to 8 ds/m without significant reduction in growth and yield. Asiatic cotton reduction in growth and yield. Asiatic cotton show better tolerance to salinity compared to upland cotton. The leaf area expansion is more sensitive to salinity compared to photosynthesis. Tolerant genotypes could maintain cellular osmotic potential by accumulation of osmolytes such as praline and K+. They had higher K/Na ratio in roots and leaves.
  • Water logging tolerance: Cotton is very sensitive to water logging at early seedling and squaring stages with drastic yield reduction. As a morphological adaptation, plants produce specialized cells known as hypertrophoid lenticels at the zone of submergence, which facilitates the transfer of O2 from shoot to root to maintain root activity. At the metabolic level tolerant genotypes possessed higher Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme activity. Response of plants to water logging was again found to be genotype x environment specific. Genotypes with large canopy and heavy boll load show wilting known as parawilt under bright light and high temperature.
  • Anatomical changes due to water logging: The anatomical change in the collar region of the stem-root during water logging was studied in detail. The lenticels formation, Its rate of development and production of newer roots in cotton genotypes formed the basis for adaptive under water logging situation

Physiological disorder

  • Bud and boll shedding Management:
  • Low concentration sprays of Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and DAP.
  • Application of pix (25 or 50 ppm) at floral initiation.
  • In irrigated condition application of cycocel 40 ppm.
  • Growing of tolerant genotypes.

Source-Sink alteration

  • Ethrel at low concentration found to minimize the effect of mechanical square removal, but it prolonged the duration of the crop. This under rainfed condition had an adverse effect of growing bolls in depleted soil moisture and resulted in reduced yield.
  • Foliar application of ethrel with an effective concentration of 30-45 ppm ethrel effectively controlled reproductive growth in the initial phase and produced profuse flowering leading to synchronous flowering and boll bursting. The yield realized was 25-30% higher than control without affecting the fibre quality.
  • Maleic Hydrazide at 500 and 1000ppm induced the axillary buds to sprout and break the apical dominance. The morpho -frame was altered with short stature, bushy growth. The yield enhanced by 30% with large number of small bolls.

Gossypol content

  • Wide variability in gossypol content in seed and other plant parts was noticed in about 300 working collections of cotton germplasm lines. Database for seed gossypol content germplasm lines which include the working collections and other genotypes of G.hirsutum, G.arboreum and G.herbaceaum and also will species. Wide variability have been observed and the germplasm lines have been categorized as low, (0-0.5%) medium (0.5-10%), high (1.0-1.5%) and very high (>1.5%) gossypol content lines.

Cotton simulation model

  • A generic model ��INFOCROP' has been calibrated and validated using crop weather, soil, genotypes, date of sowing, nitrogen level as basic inputs. The model has simulated the phenology more accurately and accuracy of simulated yield was 94% and biomass 89% across the agro-climatic zones. Using the crop model an integrated method was developed along with remote sensed area estimation and GIS techniques incorporating soil and weather parameters to predict the cotton production the regional level.

Photosynthetic efficiency

  • Asiatic cottons showed a bettering their photosynthetic efficiency under adverse growing conditions. At flowering and early boll development stages transgenic cotton has higher stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration compared to non-transgenic counterparts.

Studies on CO 2 Enrichment

  • Cotton plants grown under elevated carbon dioxide level of 650 ppm and temperature of 40 degree centigrade was found optimum for photosynthesis and nitrate reductase activities of the plant leading to improved productivity.

Fatty acid profile of cotton seed oil

  • In order to determine the nutritional value of cotton seed oil the essential fatty acids profile was estimated. The following lines containing high linoleic acid (>50%) were identified which offer potential in improving cotton seed oil quality. Fatty acid profile with special emphasis on unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids has been documented in nearly 600 germplasm lines.

Fibre Physiology

  • Very high phenols coupled with higher IAA oxidase and Peroxidases and lesser fibre to seed reducing sugar ratio affected fibre elongation in short stapled genotypes.
  • Under in vitro conditions, fibre length of 17mm was achieved for the first time in fertilized ovule culture and 12 mm in unfertilized ovules.
  • Parthenocarpic seedling with well differentiated root and cotyledonary leaves was obtained when unfertilized ovules were cultured in vitro.

Efficiency G.herbaceum genotypes with excellent adaptability in coastal areas

  • Steady state maintenance of metabolic status was evident in G.herbaceum as compared to G.hirsutum genotypes.
  • Higher levels of soluble protein, reducing sugar and phenolics was maintained upto 150 days of crop growth.
  • Metabolically important enzymes Nitrate Reductase and Peroxidase had a significant role for efficiency adaptability under adverse situation.
  • G.herbaceum genotypes (RAHS 14 & G.Cot 21) and desi hybrids (G.Cot DH 7 & G.Cot DH 9) have been identified with yielding ability of 15-20 q/ha and better adaptability to adverse situations in coastal areas of the country.

Social Sciences

  • The major risk aversion tendencies observed were varietal combination, use of F2 seeds, use of less than recommended dose of fertilizers, more than recommended number of sprays, resort to natural farming and institutional credit shyness.
  • Yield gap models showed that plant density gap in hybrid and soil dummy in variety were the major significant variables responsible for the yield gap while nutrient gaps is common to both.
  • Instability in yield was found to increase simultaneously particularly resource poor conditions leading to violent fluctuations during adverse years and thereby affecting the average performance.
  • The major constraints reported were the incidence of pests especially bollworm (62%), poor quality/ineffective chemicals (51%), non availability of canal water on time (48%), non-availability of power supply (48%), tied up credit (39%), non-availability of quality seed (37%),use of non-notified varieties(41%)improper use of chemicals mixing/cocktailing chemicals on own or at the advice of the dealers(35%) and loss due to leaf curl virus(12%).
  • Bt cotton has recorded significant increase in yield (2-5 q/ha), savings in plant protection expenses (Rs.1600-Rs.4000/ha), additional returns (Rs.2800-15000 /ha).The awareness and adoption level has increased with seasons.RCH-2 Bt has performed better than MECH Bt. There are many unapproved Bt hybrids in cultivation in A.P. and Gujarat performing better, but are causes for concern from management point of view.
  • Historical data collected from 40 organic cultivators revealed that organic cotton production is a mode or risk aversion, cost reduction motivated by premium of Rs.230-700/q and cost reduction of Rs.1900/ha.Further, the yield and price stability were high among organic farms. It has to be localized and cannot be a substitute for intensive farming.
  • Commodity diversion model results indicated that delay in cash payment and improper grading were the inducing factors for cotton diversion from the monopoly procurement than price difference and avoidance of credit recovery.
  • Criteria for research problem selection among cotton scientists in India were studied and it was found that priority of the organization set by various mechanisms has emerged as the most important criteria followed by foreign collaborations, feedback from clients, current hot topics and contribution to scientific theory and publication probability.
  • High degree of alienation from land was observed among cotton growers and perceived quality of life has become somewhat worse for majority of cotton growers.
  • Current financial condition of a family has become a serious problem for more than half of the cotton growers and seventy per cent of cotton growers are very concerned about returning the loan they taken for agriculture.
  • A major portion of variance in technology adoption behavior of cotton growers related to adoption of hybrid cotton is explained by the Model, which includes variables like spatial distribution, availability of the technology, marketing strategy, pricing, and promotional communication.

Crop Protection

Dynamics of cotton insect pests and natural enemies

Crop Pest Interactions :

Developed and validated Genotypic Resistance Ratio (GRR) technique to evaluate cotton breeding materials against bollworms that quantifies the combined plant resistance mechanisms to cotton insect pests including the tolerance trait of ��compensatory growth' in response to bollworm damage.

Loss assessment

Avoidable losses due to sucking pests in cotton variety LRA 5166 and hybrid NHH 44 ranged between 15-22% and 5-18% respectively whereas due to bollworms ranged between 30-35% in hybrid and between 25-30% in variety. A linear relationship and significantly positive correlation was observed between bacterial blight intensity and losses in seed cotton yield. On susceptible cultivar a potential loss vary from 9.1 to 32.29% with an average loss of 18.07%.

Development of weather-based forewarning systems for crop pests and diseases:

Greater than 70% relative humidity during August-September months and un-seasonal excess rainfall during the season distributed on many rainy days and rainfall amount more than 50 mm during October results in outbreak of H.armigera. Maximum temperature greater than 33 0 C, morning relative humidity less than 70%, evening relative humidity more than 40% and minimum temperature less than 12 0 C during standard weeks of 40, 41, 43 onwards, 48 and 49, respectively led to the severity of P.gossypiella attack. Factors affecting disease onset and development were identified in order to develop prediction and forecasting models for bacterial blight. High disease intensity was favoured by maximum temperature of 29.4-34.9 0 C, minimum temperature of 21.7-24.2 0 C, Maximum relative humidity 81-93%, minimum relative humidity 55-87% and 1-6 rainy days.

An Expert System for Indian Cotton Insect Pest Management (ICOTIPM) for diagnosis of insect pests was developed to determine the population size or damage through sampling methods to use with ETL and select ETL based insecticidal control measures.

Variability among the pests :

Mitochondrial DNA studies revealed the presence of 18 haplotypes in Indian H.armigera.

PCR RFLP with Rsa 1 was able to distinguish H.armigera from H.assulta in their morphological indistinguishable stages.
The non-cotton strains of H.armigera preferred to feed on red gram and chickpea over cotton and in inter strain crosses the female moth influences the feeding preference of the progeny.

Host Resistance :

A total of 3000-5000 Gossypium hirsutum and G.arboreum lines have been screened against insect pests and diseases and many tolerant, resistant and immune lines were identified.

Xanthomonas axonopodis pv malvacearum(Xam) :

Fifteen races of Xam on the basis of differential host reaction have been recorded in India. Races 10 and 18 are most virulent and predominant. First molecular evidence of biotype variability within race 18 has been observed. Pathological evidence-At least ten biotypes evolved based upon growth curve analysis, rep-PCR, RAPD, plasmid profiles and RFLP analysis.


Ramularia areola:

Variability in R.areola was recorded on the basis of morphological or cultural characters host response to cross inoculation and polymorphism in RAPD-PCR profiles.

Resistance to insecticides:

Resistance to cry 1Ac has been recorded from any of the Indian populations of H.armigera or Earias sp.despite cultivation of Bt cotton for the last five years until 2007.

Characterization of new diseases:

  • Extensive investigations on new wilt disease of cotton showed that the malady was a physiological disorder that usually manifests when there is sudden downpour following a dry spell. Documentation of symptoms, factors affecting onset of the malady, ways of ameliorating the disorder were reported.
  • Late-season Phoma blight, a new disease of cotton was reported for the first time. Detailed symptoms of the disease with various characteristics features were documented.

Biochemical marker of disease resistance:

Critical biochemical markers for grey mildew resistance in diploid cotton were identified. The resistant cotton were characterized not only by their higher constitutive levels of Phenylalanine ammonia lyase and the phenolics catalyzed by the enzyme, but also their inherent rapid inducing ability when invaded by the pathogen.

Molecular basis of pathogenicity of Xam

  • Genes governing pigmentation, exopolysaccharide production and pathogenicity in Xanthomonas axonopodispv. Malvacearum (Xam) have been reported by us for the first time to be plasmid-borne.
  • Two plasmid-borne pathogenicity genes pthN and pthN2 were successfully cloned and characterized.pthN (3.6 kb) is completely sequenced and available in GenBank (AF016221).
  • The genes cloned from Xam strain are perhaps the first genes cloned as pathogenicity genes unlike all other members, which were cloned as avr genes. Cloning, characterization and sequencing of pathogenicity genes in a strain of Xam and delineation of its function lead to understanding of vital aspects of cotton- Xam interactions.

Races specific molecular marker of Xam:

RFLP marker, capable of identifying the most virulent race 18 strain of Xam has been developed.

PCR detection of CLCuV:

A pair of primer designed to detect CLCuV in infected cotton plants as well as symptom less host by amplification of a 0.7 kb coat protein gene of the virus has been developed. The PCR protocol is simple and can be accomplished within 1.44h.

Immunological detection of CLCuV:

Simple tissue imprint blotting protocol for detection of CLCuV infection is developed. The twig imprints of the infected and healthy plants can be observed by chromogenic detection using anti-CaLCuV (Cabbage leaf curl virus) antibody.

Documentation of CLCuV symptoms on cotton:

Six different symptoms types of cotton leaf curl virus disease viz., upward and downward curling of lamina, severe and mild curling, vein-thickening and enation, were documented based on a survey of disease in status of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, where the disease is prevalent.

Characterisation of CLCuV strains:

Sequencing of viral genomes from six different symptomatic plants revealed wide variability in nucleotide sequences of DNA A and ß-DNA indicating possibilities of existence of different strains capable of inducing variable symptoms and disease severity.

Insecticide Resistance Detection Kits:

Eleven kits to detect resistance to pyrethroids, Endosulfan and methomyl were developed which include 4 SCAR markers, 3 ELISA kits, 2 dot-blot

Development of detection Kits

Bt detection kits:

Six kits namely: Bt-Express, Bt-Quant, Bt-Detect, Bt-Zygosity, Bt-Express-II and Bt-Elisa II have been developed and commercialized. A Bt referral lab was opened by Government of India in the Institute. And 2 immunochromatographic dip-sticks. The immunochromatographic kits were distributed to immunochromatographic kits were distributed to entomologists of State Agricultural Universities for field validation. Resistant strains selected with cry1Ac exhibited a broad-spectrum resistance, to a variable degree, to almost all the Cry1 toxins tested but showed an unchanged susceptibility pattern to cry2Ab. A near isogenic cry1Ac-line exhibited some amount of cross-resistance to cry2Ab. Joint toxic action studies indicated that none of the Cry1 toxin combinations displayed any significant synergism.

Kits to detect quality of spurious insecticides formulations:

Eight kits, which include ELISA as well as dipstick to test the quality and residue of pyrethroids and Endosulfan, have been developed.

PCR Detection of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.Vasinfectum:

PCR method was used for detection of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.vasinfectum from cotton seed. This method can be used in quarantine testing of seed material.

PCR Detection of bacterial blight pathogen Commercialization of Xanthomonas axonopodis

Pv. malvacearum detection kit:

A ready-to-use PCR kit for detection of strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum has been approved by the Institute for patent filing. PCR-mix was able to support amplification of 0.4kb diagnostic fragment without any loss in efficiency even after 12 months when stored at -20 0 C.The kit was successfully validated at seven research labs of ICAR Institutes and SAU's. The kit is routinely used to detect the pathogen strains and also to differentiate it from morphologically alike yellow colored non-Xanthomonads that are consistently associated with cotton and encountered in cultures as contaminants. An application has been filed for patenting of the invention.

Biological control

  • The mass multiplication protocols for HNPV, Crysoperla carnea and Trichogramma were standardized. Further the institute facilitated and supported the establishment of biocontrol factories in Vidarbh region of Maharashtra.
  • Full-fledged world class in sectary set up for the first time where rearing of bollworms has been successfully carried out for more than 20 generations. The in sectary maintains up to 53 cultures of Helicoverpa and 20 cultures of spotted bollworms.
  • Near isogenic lines of Helicoverpa with reference to specific insecticide groups such as Endosulfan, methomyl, Quinalphos, cry 1 Ac etc. are being maintained. Insecticide susceptible reference strains of Helicoverpa are being maintained.
  • Farmers friendly Bt production technology popularly known as Bt bucket was developed which was subsequently converted to Bt drum.
  • Out of 148 bacterial isolates 5 were found to be very inhibitor of Xam in vitro. Eight potential isolates of Pseudomonas fluoresces and one isolate of Bacillus firmus isolated were found to be effective against Xam. 9 selected isolates provided high levels of antagonism against Xam in vitro.
  • Of the 16 indigenous isolates of Entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to Steinernema and Heterorhabditis spp.collected and evaluated against H.armigera, five were found to be effective against H.armigera at 10-15 infective juveniles per insect larva, under laboratory conditions. Two photorphabdus isolates symbiont of entomophogenic nematodes were recorded to be antagonistic towards sucking insect pests of cotton.

Development of management strategies for Stem Weevil (Pempherulus affinis Faust)

  • Several management strategies were developed to control the stem weevil incidence:
  • Reduced cropping intensity and high seed rate.
  • Destroying affected and dried plants and earthing upto prevent oviposition.
  • Application of Neemcake (150 Kgs/ha) +Carbofuran(1.0 Kg a.i/ha) at 15-20 days after sowing (DAS) and stem drenching with Neem seed extract 5% from 45 DAS,4 times at weekly interval or drenching with Chlorpyriphos 0.1%,4 times at weekly interval from 45 DAS.

Biochemical mechanism of resistance to bollworms

  • Squares of Bollworm tolerant genotypes possessed lesser protein,sugars and higher levels of secondary metabolites like condensed tannin, gossypol and phenolics as compared to susceptible cultivars.

Developmental biochemistry of cotton pest/disease interaction

  • Seed dressing insecticides imidacloprid and Chlothianidine helped in better metabolic status of cotton seedling due to enhanced peroxides, acid and alkaline phosphates activities.
  • Carbosulfan and Thiomethoxam helped in enhancement of Nitrate Reductase activity and soluble protein content.
  • Variation seen in Polyphenol oxidase, Superoxide dismutase and Catalase enzymes during interaction of cotton genotypes with isolates of grey mildew is useful in diagnostic tool development.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

  • Established nucleus and cluster villages for promotion and implementation of IPM practices.
  • Implementation of two pest management approaches viz., IPM with biocontrol options including ETL based insecticidal sprays and need based chemical sprays were undertaken in addition to IPM on Bt cotton.
  • Created awareness on field scouting and need based chemical interventions through weekly visits and through on farm days.
  • Created off season management practices and refined the package for seasonal cotton pest management.

Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM)

  • Strategies were implemented in an area of about 200,000 ha in fields of 132000 farmers of 1682 villages in 30 districts of 10 cotton growing states over a period of 6 years during 2001-2007.The overall benefit due to the project implementation was estimated at Rs.130 crores, accured from Rs.80 crores due to yield increase and Rs.50 crores from reduced insecticide usage.

Tranfer of Technology:

In addition to the research programmes, the institute is engaged in first line transfer of technology programmes. These include institute Village Linkage Programme (IVLP), Frontline demonstration (FLD), On-Campus/Off-Campus demonstrations, and Seed Village Programme and IPM/IRM demonstrations. Rashtriya Kapas Melas (RKM) are held every year to facilitate the interaction among farmers from all major cotton growing States and cotton scientists. Farmers Day is organized periodically for enabling in-depth interaction between farmers and researches. Institute is also a part of Kisan Call Center network of the country. Considering the importance of electronic media in transfer of technology, the Institute is engaged in production of video films on various aspects of cotton in vernacular languages, agriculture programmes for various TV channels and radio talks for All India Radio. The web based expert system on cotton production, being developed by the Institute will be of immense help to computer savvy extension personnal and farmers. Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and Agriculture Technology Information Center (ATIC) are major organs of the institute to provide advisory and other services to the farming community. Farm women is a very important client group for all extension programme of the institute.


TRAINING :

The Institute undertakes a regular on-farming training courses for cotton growers usually of one to two days duration. Very specific aspects of production technology are dealt in these training programmes. The Govt. of India recognizes the institute as the center for conducting National/Model Training Courses on Cotton Production Technology. More than 700 senior level extension functionaries belonging to all major cotton growing States of the country have been trained in these mediums to long-term programmers. In addition, the institute undertakes short term sponsored training programmes by the State governments, NGO's private companies/corporations and other organizations. Periodic International training programmes are also organized for cotton professionals from other cotton growing countries of south and south-east Asia such as Vietnam , Myanmar , Indonesia , Sri Lanka , Bangladesh etc., the institute is well equipped in terms of facilities and faculty for organizing regular national and international training courses in the varied fields of cotton research.

THRUST AREAS FOR X1 PLAN PERIOD

  • Conservation, evaluation, documentation, utilization and enrichment of cotton germplasm including wild species.
  • Effective deployment of molecular and biotechnological approaches alongwith traditional approaches in crop improvement programmers for improving fibre quality (to meet the demand of the processing industry) and yield alongwith resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in the major cotton species.
  • Promotion of long linted arboreums and development of productive extra-long staple barbadense cotton.
  • Genetic enhancement of diploid and tetraploid cotton through population improvement.
  • Developing sustainable production and protection technology for Bt cotton.
  • To develop strategies for improving input use efficiency and enhance productivity.
  • To develop cotton based cropping systems for maximizing economic returns and rational use of resources.
  • Constraints and risk analysis in the context of globalization and liberalized trade scenario.
  • Mechanisation of cotton production.
  • To develop low cost pest management options and optimize pest management inputs on a location specific basis to ensure the best possible returns for resource poor small-scale farmers.
  • Monitoring and management of insect resistance to insecticides and Bt-toxins to ensure sustainability of pest management.
  • Discovery of novel pesticidal genes, new Biopesticides and biological control agents, their characterization and utilization.
  • Development of diagnostic kits to ensure quality Biopesticides and conventional insecticides.
  • Strengthening of pest forecasting and biological control systems.
  • Demonstration and dissemination of improved crop protection (IPM & IRM) and production technologies.
  • Identification of pest and disease resistant cultivars to be utilized to develop resistant cultivars. Identification of molecular markers for pest and disease resistance for utilization in marker assisted breeding to develop resistant cultivars.
  • Characterization of pest and pathogen biodiversity across the country to identify most virulent biotypes to develop specific strategies for effective management.
  • To initiate proactive strategies to delay pest resistance development to inputs.

Information compiled by M. Sabesh, Scientist, CICR