Central Institute for Cotton Research

Breeding Research

Development of Bt cotton varieties using non-deregulated transgenic events

Development of transgenic cotton varieties for sustainable bollworm management using available deregulated and non-deregulated indigenous new events available from Indian Research Institutions.

Introgression of Tg2E13 event (cry1Ac gene) and CH12 event (cry2Ax1 gene) into Suraj, NH615 and CISH3178 is in BC4F2 and BC3F1 stage. The studies revealed that Tg2E13 carrying plants had delayed maturity compared to non-Bt counterpart both in the background of Coker310 and CISH3178. Non-deregulated transgenic events viz., Tg2E13 (cry1Ac) and CH12 (cry2Ax1) were assessed for their bio-efficacy against pink bollworm and American bollworm along with checks [BG II hybrid check (cry1Ac+cry2Ab); Suraj Bt variety (Mon531) and non-transgenic (Coker 310)]. For pink bollworm, Tg2E13 was found comparable to single and dual gene Bt checks. The event has also showed good bio-efficacy against American bollworm.

Development of Bt cotton varieties using deregulated transgenic events

Bt cotton technology was developed as an alternate strategy to the previously used hazardous insecticides to circumvent bollworm problem in cotton. Productivity enhancement in India can come from yield improvement in rainfed ecosystems through development and deployment of Bt cotton varieties which are amenable to High Density Planting System (HDPS). Bt varieties provide higher yields with an option of high-density planting, provide better protection against bollworms owing to presence of transgene in homozygous conditions with no further segregation, are less input demanding and more climate resilient. This project aims to develop Bt varieties using deregulated transgenic events.

The following eleven Bt varieties are released and notified from the project: ICAR-CICR Bt 6; ICAR-CICR GJHV-374 Bt; ICAR-CICR PKV-081 Bt; ICAR-CICR Rajat Bt; ICAR-CICR Suraj Bt; ICAR-CICR 16 Bt; ICAR-CICR 23 Bt; ICAR-CICR Bt9; ICAR-CICR Bt 14; ICAR-CICR Bt21; and ICAR-CICR Bt25

Narrow genetic base is the major limitation for genetic improvement of cotton

Development of cotton varieties with broad genetic base through population improvement approaches such as recurrent selection and intermating is aimed for improving yield, fiber quality and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Four GMS based G. arboreum hybrids were evaluated for seed cotton yield with two check hybrids. One GMS based hybrid CISAA 19-5 (2802 kg/ha) recorded significantly higher seed cotton yield than both the check hybrids, CICR 2 (2466 kg/ha) and CISAA 19-4 (2659 kg/ha). GMS lines (DS5, CISA 2, GAK 413A, CISG-20) and 18 newly identified GMS lines [CISG-1, CISG-2, CISG-4, CISG-8, CISG-9, CISG-10, CISG-11, CISG-13, CISG-14, CISG-15, CISG-16, CISG-17, CISG-18 (narrow leaf), CISG-18 (broad leaf), CISG-19, CISG-21, CISG-22 (narrow leaf) and CISG-22 (broad leaf)] were maintained through sibmating.

Development of CLCuV resistance genotypes:

Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) is one of the most important diseases in North India affecting cotton productivity. The cultivated G. arboreum is considered immune to CLCuV and therefore, it was targeted for introgressing genes for CLCuV resistance to G. hirsutum to eventually develop high yielding, CLCuV resistant and whitefly tolerant G. hirsutum genotypes. One inter-specific hybrid (G. hirsutum × G. arboreum) plant was established at ICAR-CICR, Nagpur through embryo rescue technique.

CLCuD is a major problem for cotton production in north India. As it is a vector transmitted viral disease, its management is very difficult. This project was initiated for development of varieties of upland cotton having good fibre traits and tolerance to CLCuD. Resistance to CLCuD was studied using GVS-8 (EC881780) and GVS-9 (EC881781) and it was confirmed to be governed by a single dominant gene. Selfed and backcrossed populations are being derived to develop upland cotton varieties with better fibre traits and tolerance to CLCuD.

Development of Improved Interspecific (H X B) Genotypes

To develop a breeding population with improved seed cotton yield, fibre quality and resistance to jassids. Utilization of interspecific crosses between G. hirsutum and G. barbadense in the breeding programme would certainly help in releasing additional genetic variability for fibre quality traits in populations generated. Promising introgression lines were developed through interspecific (G. hirsutum × G. barbadense) hybridization for specific traits like high ginning outturn percentage. The introgression lines exhibited higher ginning outturn (39.2 to 43.1) and lint index (6.5 to 8.2%). The introgression lines CNH 204710 (43.9%), CNH 20378, CNH 20387 (43.4%) and CNH 204910 (43.3%) were identified for higher ginning outturn.

Development of climate resilient diploid cotton

One of the major reasons of low cotton productivity in central zone is abiotic and biotic stresses. Gossypium herbaceum can grow in difficult weather conditions under low fertile soils with poor management. It has immense inherent of abiotic tolerance. This study aimed to identify genotypes suitable for early maturity traits that escape late season water stress in addition to fitting the crops in available short windows of cropping systems.

Twelve F4 populations of interspecific crosses of G. herbaceum × G. arboreum were evaluated. The population of cross IC371362 × PA785 had maximum UHML (30.1mm), UI (83%), MIC (3.3µg/inch), bundle tenacity (31.3g/tex) along with good yield potential.

Development of compact plant types with improved quality traits through selective mating system in G. hirsutum

Biotic and abiotic stresses represent major production constraints in cotton. Genetic approaches like selective intermating are considered important in breaking the undesirable linkages and developing superior varieties. Development of stress resilient, compact upland cotton varieties with improved fibre quality is the purpose of the project.

Two F5 generations of eight and ten parental crosses were raised for developing MAGIC RILs. 1000 lines were evaluated for leaf temperature and chlorophyll content which ranged from 24.1 to 29.5oC and 18.8 to 65.9 µmol/m2 respectively while, 250 lines were evaluated for proline content that ranged from 1.4 to 2.18 μmol g-1 FW. In the year 2020-21, evaluation of 31 F4. generation of single, double, six and eight parental crosses along with three checks for seed cotton yield and other Important traits showed that DTS 518 was the best performer. DTS 519, DTS 509, DTS 524 and DTS 502 were other promising cultures recording more than 20 per cent increase over the check NH 615. For Improving the fibre quality of drought tolerant line, culture 28I was backcrossed with four high fibre strength lines. F5 generation (2972 progenies) of ten parents MAGIC population was advanced to F6 generation.

Identification of G. hirsutum germplasm

Cotton in India is grown in different agro-climatic conditions and it experiences waterlogging at one or other stages of its life cycle because of recent climate change scenarios. Information on the genetic variation for waterlogging tolerance in cotton is meagre. This project is aimed to derive insights on waterlogging tolerance in G. hirsutum germplasm. In order to develop mapping population for waterlogging tolerance, four accessions each of tolerant (IC359979, IC359245, IC563998 (INGR 08093), LRA5166) and susceptible (IC357558, IC359242, IC357607, IC356708) group were characterized and molecular persity was analysed using SSR markers.

Development of high yielding, early maturing Asiatic cotton (G. arboreum) genotypes

Desi cotton (G. arboreum) resilient to many biotic and abiotic stresses is considered as a sustainable solution for fight against climate change. The demand for short stable cotton is almost double the production which highlights the scope for increasing area and productivity of desi cotton. In order to harness the short window of rainfed regions of central and south zone, this project envisaged to develop early maturing, high yielding G. arboreum genotypes. G. arboreum accessions screened for high yield and early maturity, based on Specific Combining Ability (SCA) and Standard heterosis (SH) with per se performance.

Ten brown linted F3 progeny families of crosses, and 14 white linted F3 progeny families of crosses are being evaluated. In order to develop compact desi cotton (G. arboreum) genotypes, BC3F1, BC2F2 and F4 population of long linted genotypes viz., PA255, PA812, PA740, PA783 and KWAN3crossed with Phule Dhanwantari were evaluated and selections were carried to combine plant architecture and fibre quality.

Breeding for early maturity, compact plant type and jassids tolerance in cotton

High density planting system (HDPS) is recognized for higher productivity of cotton across countries. Availability of cotton cultivars with compact plant architecture is a basic requirement for the success of HDPS. This project envisages to develop cotton varieties which will have the potential to produce higher yield per unit area (under HDPS) and per unit time (due to early maturity) along with inherent resilience to jassids, better yield and fibre quality attributes. Early maturing cotton variety can also help escaping pink bollworm damage.

A total of 165 single plant selections and 85 progenies were evaluated for earliness, jassids tolerance, compact plant architecture, good boll weight and yield. Eighty-one single plant selections and 53 progenies were categorized as tolerant (grade 1) for jassids tolerance. Based on the molecular pergence revealed by 50 polymorphic markers, the jassids tolerant and susceptible upland cotton genotypes were grouped into 3 major clusters.

Development and evaluation of ELS interspecific hybrids with better yield and fiber quality

In India, the Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton production is less than the textile mills requirement. In order to meet the demand, the interspecific (H×B) hybrids need with quality sought by modern textile mills need to be developed. Seven male parents (G. barbadense) viz., ICB 161 (compact type), CCB 11A (early maturing), CCB 29 (Advance culture for yield), Suvin (fibre quality), ICB 124 (High leaf trichome), CCB 25 (Epicuticular wax content), ICB 46 (High gossypol glands) were selected to develop interspecific hybrids by crossing them with four female parents namely Suraj, Surabhi, MCU5 VT, CCH 15-1. The 50 G. barbadense accessions were grouped into seven clusters.

Identification of male sterile plants in genetic male sterility (GMS) using molecular markers Hand emasculation and pollination is laborious and the use of male sterility can make hybrid seed much cheaper. Use of GMS for commercial hybrid seed production is a better approach for tetraploid and diploid hybrids. GMS system involving two recessive genes ms5ms5ms6ms6 found in Gregg MS is the only stable source utilized in India. The seed production plots of GMS female contain 50 percent fertile plants which need to be rouged out during flowering but before pollination. Identification of male sterile plants using molecular markers will help in making GMS based hybrid seed production profitable and sustainable.

A total of 24 samples representing 12 male sterile and 12 male fertile plants submitted for SNP genotyping. The seed of 12 CMS and its maintainer lines, 28 GMS and 25 Restorer lines were submitted for medium term storage (MTS).

Development of high strength cotton genotypes by reducing short fibre content

The long and extralong staple varieties capable of spinning 60s count yarn occupies a sizeable area in the South Zone but are poor in fibre tenacity which make them unsuitable for spinning to optimum yarn counts. The upgradation of textile mills from ring spinning to open end rotor spinning require high strength cotton fibres to realize their spinning potential. A study initiated to development of high strength cotton genotypes by reducing the short fiber content. Development of high strength culture will be useful for further breeding programmes.

The long staple cultures CCH 19-2 and CCH 19-4 showed superior performance in AICRP multi-location trials and were promoted to zonal trials in both Central and South Zone for further evaluation during 2020-21. Several big boll progenies having boll weight of more than 5.0 g with good fibre quality has been identified and are being evaluated for further utilization.

The yield trial of nine high yielding long staple cultures with Surabhi and Suraj as the check varieties revealed that culture YLS 21 -2 yielded 1528 kg/ha having the highest boll weight of 4.9 g/boll. The culture YLS 21 -4 was the best for fibre quality with 34.1 mm length and 33.8 g/tex tenacity.

In another replicatory trial with 16 long staple cultures having big boll and high bundle strength with Surabhi and Suraj as the check varieties, the fibre quality analysis with Advanced Fibre Information System (AFIS) indicated that the culture BB 1-1-1 was the best In terms of Upper Quarter Length with 34.3 mm. For short fibre content, the culture BB 16-1-1 recorded the least value in terms of both weight (4.3) and number (15.9). For immature fibre content, the culture BB 10-1-2 was the best with 6.4 %. These cultures may be exploited for further utilization in breeding programme.

Breeding for high yielding, early maturing sucking pest tolerant extra-long stable G.barbadense genotypes with improved fibre properties:

Improving of ELS cotton (G.barbadense) genotypes for early maturing, sucking pest tolerance, high yielding with improved fibre quality properties. A set of 326 G.barbadense germplasm accessions were maintained and multiplied in CICR, RS, Coimbatore. Upon screening of these accessions for yield and fibre traits, lead to identifying suitable genotypes for further introgression with Suvin variety and resulted improved advanced lines were tested in AICRP. With concerted efforts, three varieties are released namely CICR B Cotton 37(CCB 51); CICR B Cotton 45(CCB 143B) and CICR B Cotton 55( CCB 51-2). Several entries are in AICRP testing’s.

Induced Mutagenesis for Improvement of ELS cotton (G.barbadense):

Induced mutagenesis in Suvin (G.barbadense) variety through Fast Neutron (FN) for Identifying of novel mutant with high ginning out turn(GOT). Potential mutant Fast Neutron was tried to induce mutagenesis in suvin variety. LD50 was fixed with dose of 30Gy. There are 25 lines frp, M2 population with highest GOT with yield been selected to forward for generation advancing.

Varieties released and registered:

  • G. barbadense line CCB-12 was identified for registration with ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi for its cleistogamous nature of flower as unique trait.
  • CNA 1032, a G. arboreum genotype tested in Agronomy trial in Central Zone during 2019-20 was identified for commercial cultivation by Central Varietal Identification Committee.
  • An ELS cotton genotype CCB-51 was released for irrigated conditions of South Zone (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). It has a yield potential of 1464 kg/ha with duration of 165-170 days. It has a fibre length of 37.4 mm, micronaire of 3.3 and tenacity of 38g/tex.
  • CICR-H Cotton 36 (Suraksha), an extra-long staple variety was identified for release for both Central and South Zone States in irrigated condition with a yield potential of 4019 kg/ha and average values of Upper Half Mean Length (UHML) of 32.4 mm, micronaire of 3.7 and tenacity of 34.3 g/tex in HVI mode in South Zone and UHML of 31.9 mm, micronaire of 4.4 and tenacity of 33.5 g/tex in HVI mode in Central Zone.
  • Four non-Bt varieties namely, CICR-A Cotton 46 (CNA 1054) of G. arboreum CICR-H Cotton 47 (CNH 1111) and CICR-H Cotton 48 (CNH 1128) of G. hirsutum and for the first time a naturally dark brown coloured cotton G. hirsutum variety CICR-H-NC Cotton 53 (16301 DB) was identified for commercial cultivation by CVIC and released during the 87th CVRC meeting and notified in the Gazette vide S.O. 8(E) dated 24″ December, 2021.
  • CICR B Cotton 45 (CCB 143B) has been released and notified vide Gazette notification dated 24″ December 2021; S.O. 8 (E) for the states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
Information Compiled by Dr. M. Sabesh, Dr.A.Manivannan Source: CICR Annual reports; NBPGR website updated: 26:04:2023
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