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Crop Science Abstract -

Yield, Yield Components, and Fiber Properties of Insect-Resistant Cotton Lines Containing a Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Gene


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 38-41
    Received: Dec 11, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. F. Douglas Wilson ,
  2. Hollis M. Flint,
  3. W. Randy Deaton and
  4. Robert E. Buehler
  1. USDA-ARS, Western Cotton Res. Lab., 4135 E. Broadway, Phoenix, AZ 85040
    Monsanto Co., St. Louis, MO



Crop yield and quality could be affected in transgenic crop plants carrying foreign genes which confer resistance to plant pests. Scientists at Monsanto Company produced nine transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) lines, each containing one of the two Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Berliner) constructs, cryIA(b) or cryIA(c), that encode a protein toxic to lepidopteran insects. We undertook this study to determine whether these transgenic lines exhibit any undesirable agronomic or fiber properties. At Maricopa, AZ, we grew five, four, and three transgenic lines in field plots in 1990, 1991, and 1992, respectively; the parental ‘Coker 312’ and the locally adapted, nectariless, high fiber-strength ‘Md 51 ne’ were included each year. Somaclonal variation, insertion of the insect-control protein genes, and the expression of the insecticidal protein caused no general reduction in lint yield, primary or secondary yield components, or fiber properties. The transgenic lines varied significantly in every trait measured. Mean lint yields over the 3 yr were as follows: transgenic lines, 135.4 ± 4.5 g m−2; Coker 312, 115.1 ± 7.7 g m−2, MD 51 ne, 141.2 ± 11.4 g m−2. Six of the nine transgenic lines yielded significantly more lint (13–30%) than did Coker 312. Lint yields of the same six lines (10% less to 7% more) were not significantly different than that of MD 51 ne. Compared with Coker 312, four of nine transgenic lines had longer fiber, eight had stronger fiber, two had higher fiber elongation, and two did not differ significantly in micronaire. Compared with MD 51 ne, five of the nine transgenic lines did not differ significantly in fiber length, two did not differ in strength, three" did not differ in elongation, and six did not differ in micronaire. These transgenic lines are valuable sources of germplasm, not only for insect resistance but also for agronomic and fiber properties.

Contribution of USDA-ARS in cooperation with Monsanto Co. and Arizona Agr. Exp. Stn.

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