Technology Mission on Cotton - Mini Mission - I

Research Highlights : 2002-03

A-1 Identification and development of promising genotypes from introgressed materials

The project was designed to obtain precise material possessing biotic and abiotic stresses and fibre quality. Genetic variability for different characters has been generated using introgression. More than 1900 crosses were made utilizing wild sources of Gossypium such as, aridum, raimondii, thurberi, anomalum. sturtianum, stocksii, helsonii with all the cultivated species. The introgressed lines have been screened for fibre quality and stress resistance. Entries, which are promising for all the characters only further tested. Similarly, resistant cultures from already existing derivatives have been selected for crossing

  • Rich source of cultivated genotypes with biotic stress resistance (bollworm, sucking pest, clcuv and drought tolerance) has been obtained as a result of introgression breeding using wild species.
  • G. herbaceum and G. arboreum genotypes have been introgressed with G. hirsutum, which have both longer fibre length (> 25 mm) and strength (> 23 g/tex).
  • The cultivated species of G. herbaceum and G. arboreum introgressed to have low gossypol seeds and apomixes.
G.hirsutum introgressed with G.australe to make glandless seeds and glanded plants of G.hirsutum
G. australe

A-2 Identification and development of diploid cotton with high yield and fibre quality suitable for high speed spinning

The project was designed to improve the status of desi cotton in terms of productivity fibre length, strength, spinning potential and their suitability for high speed spinning.

  • The strains PAIG-8/1, DLSA-17 and PAIG-29 having superior fibre qualities suitable for high speed spinning developed through introgression were identified. Strains with fibre strength up to 24 g/tex, length up to 27 mm and micronnaire 4.0 were obtained.
  • G. herbaceum improvement in terms of fibre quality traits could be possible utilizing arboreum strains PAIG-8/1, PA-304, PA-405 and DLSA-17 as donor parents.
  • A promising herbaceum strain BDHC-19 for yield and superior fibre properties was identified. Also RBDV-7 has been proposed for release for tract of Rajasthan.
  • The genetic diversity in diploid cotton was increased because of crosses evolved and shuttle breeding method used in selection process.
  • The introgressed material evolved were unique which sould be used as important mutants for genetical and biotechnological studies.

A-3 Characterisation of plant ideotvpes for different agro-climatic zones

The objectives of the project were set to develop cotton ideotypes suitable for irrigated, rainfed and intercropping situations. In the first two years a wide range of robust plant type and compact plant type entries were chosen under differing situations to find out the suitability.
The general features of different agro-cliatic zone have been studied.

  • In the North zone, the top entries with respect to yield were compact types.
  • In the South zone, both robust and compact types figured most productive in different centers.
  • In the Central zone, which is rainfed, compact figured productive. But whenever, there is moisture stress, robust do better.
  • Compact tyes revealed increased boll number, unit area and increased sympodial number where as, robust types showed increased boll size, boll number and sympodial length. This indicates genetic diversity among genetypes for path of productivity.
  • For intercropping situation with chilli, robust types found to give high cotton yield and low chilly yield while compact types gave high chilli yield and low cotton yeld. CPD-446, RACH-16 and Sahana were found suitable varieties for intercropping without affecting cilli yield.

A-4 Improvement of medium long to extra-long staple fibre quality suitable for high speed spinning

G. hirsutum varieties and hybrids currently grown cater to the need of textile industry to spin, up to 60s counts of yarn. However, the fibre strength and fineness have always posed problem. In this project, therefore, improvement of medium long and extra long staple fibres has been targeted.
During the year 2002-03, screening for suitable soirces with high fibre strength was performed in the available gene pool.

  • Single plant selection made in the extra-long staple cultures exhibited mean fibre strength of 23.6 g/tex with a range 22.8 to 25.4 g/tex.
  • All selected progenies exhibited an improved micronnaire value ranging from 3.7 – 4.2
  • Genotypes combining good fibre length (28.1 to 30.4 mm 2.5 % span length), micronnaire (3.9 to 4.7) and strength (23.2 to 24.3 g/tex) were identified.
  • Different entries were evaluated at various cenres to identify suitable source for GOT identified once are CSH-81 at Sirsa, GISV-104, GISV-206, GISV-207 and GISV-191 at Surat which had GOT ranging from 37 to 40%.

A-5 Quantitative and qualitative improvement of cotton seed oil

The project was formulated with the objective of identifying new genetic resources with high oil content and their utilization in breeding to obtain high oil and better lint cultivars.

  • Evaluation of germplasm lines identified TMGH-2, TMGH-3 and TMGH-6 with more than 24.0% oil content in hirsutum and number CINA-3B with 24.84% oil content in arboreum.
  • Among the 164 segregating lines evaluated 34 K-SP2 recorded the SCY of 9.48 q/ha with 2.5% fibre length 25.6 mm and oil content 19.72%, while 26DC SP2 recorded 21.55% oil content, 26.8 mm span length and 24.3 g/tex bundle strength but with poor SCY.
  • 108 new crosses were effected combining oil content and quality with fibre productivity and quality.
  • 60 new crosses were initiated for inheritance studies on cotton seed oil fatty acid composition.
  • Extraction of oil from cotton sees using super critical fluid extraction (SFE) technique were undertaken and attempts made to optimize 3 parameters of SFE namely temperatue, pressure and time of extraction. Though the oil yield was less by 57% than normal method, the free gossypol present in the oil was minimum (0.22) and well within the FDA specified limits (0.045%). The colour of oil also was golden yellow as against dark brown in solvent extracted oil.

A-6 Overcoming incompatibility barriers in interspecific hybridisation

The project was aimed to overcome incompatibility barriers in interspecific hybridization.

  • Polyploidy was induced by the treatment of terminal buds of G. arboreum by colchicines. The G. arboreum antotetraploid was obtained with chromosome number 2n = 52. This was then crossed with hirsutum and promising recombinants were selected with chromosome number 2n = 52.
  • Crosses were made between cultivated diploids, tetraploids and wild species to intorgress characters of fibre length, strength disease and pest resistance. The wild species utilized include G. anomalum, G.trilocum, G.bicki, G. nelsoni, G. thurberi, G. stocksii, G. capitis-viridum, G. aridum.
  • Bud and boll drop in interspecific crosses could be reduced significantly using GA @ 50 mg/L alone or in combination of sucrose and NAA.
  • The embryo rescue technique by culturing embryos at 5,8,12,15 DAP in MS Medium with growth regulators was successful in incompatible interspecific crosses and plants were regenerated particularly PKV 081 x G-27; Jaydhar x australe; Jayadhar x gossypoides.
  • Chromosome doubling attempted in arboreum by treating seedlings with 0.1% colchicines for 8 hrs. Such diploid species were successfully crossed with tetraploid species to generate promising material.
  • Interspecific hybrids were characterized based on RAPD markers.
B - Cotton Seed Technology

B-1 Maintenance of genetic purity of released varieties and parents of hybrids

  • Comparison of performance with respect to yield and other important characters were made for normal bulk, model bulk, superior bulk and nucleus seed bulk of different varieties. At Surat, Abohar and Nagpur no significant differences were observed among various bulks where as at Coimbatore the model bulk of LRA- 5166 and superior bulk of Sumangala expressed statistical difference in days to flowering.
  • Morphological characterization was performed in all centers for their respective varieties and paents of hybrids and impurities taken out.
  • Protein electrophoresis is being incorporated as one of remedial measures for present system of genetic purity maintenance at Surat & Rahuri.
  • The breeder seed production of parents of hybrids and varieties were taken as per the new system.

B-2 Molecular characterisation of released varieties and parents of hybrids

  • AFLP analysis was carried out for 52 germplasm lines of G. hirsutum and 23 advance breeding lines using three primer pairs which resulted in 97% polymorphism.
  • A dendrogram showing the clustering pattern of 23-advance breeding lines were generated following UPGMA wherein all lines could be distinguished.
  • RAPD markers have been used for seed purity testing across individual plants of the hybrids of PKV-Hy 3 and PKV-Hy4. These markers are to be confirmed for other hybrids.
  • Characterisation of 23 parenal lines of commercial hybrids was done based on AFLP technique and a total of 723 bands scored.
  • ISSR analyss was carried out for 22 wild species of cotton using 19 primers and dendrogram generated.

Seed purity determination at OPB-03700 locus in PKV Hybrid4

B-3 Pre-and post-harvest management techniques for the improvement of seed quality

  • For improvement of seed quality issues research efforts have been made to standardize pre and post-harvest management techniques.
  • For varieties closer spacing of 120 x 60 cm/90 x 90 cm and foliar spray of boron 0.1% at 60, 75 and 90 DAS has been found useful for realizing higher yields and seed germination.
  • Seed soaking in succinic acid for 6 hrs followed by foiar spray of Boron 0.1% at 60,75 and 90 DAS results in higher boll set, SCY and Seed index.
  • 2nd week 10 last week of November. Considered ideal crossing period for getting high bol set, SCY of hybrids.
  • Cloth bag storage condition recorded higher germination percentage compared to polythene bag storage condition.
C - Resource management for quality cotton production

C-l Nutrient Dynamics in Cotton and establishment of critical limits of macro and micro nutrients

  • A series of experiments were carried out at ANGRAU Guntur, CSHAU Hissar, IISS Bhopal, CICR Nagpur, MPUAT Banswara and BARC Mumbai to study the nutrient dynamics in cotton and decide the critical limits for secondary and micronutrients.
  • Critical limits of sulphur (S), magnesium (Mg) and Boron (B) established in cotton growing soils and plants below which economic response to S, Mg and B fertilizers could be expected
  • Suitability of various soil tests for predicting S, Mg and B deficiency/toxicity in cotton growing soils and plants evaluated.
  • Nutrient uptake was determined for the different growth stages. The amount of N, P and K removed were in about 1:0.6:1 ratio. Uptake was very low up to squaring stage and greatest between squaring and flowering stages.

C-2 Evaluation of bioinoculants including VAM & PSB for eco-friendly and economical nutrient management

  • Cotton crop responds very well to Plant Growth Promoters (PGP) producing organisms. Studies on PGFMs (Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs) and PGPRs (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) were carried out to see their effect on cotton seed germination and seedling vigour as well as its yield.
  • The highest seed cotton yield was observed in phyllosphere spraying M extorquens AMI with methanol spray (761.72 kg ha-1) followed by seed imbibition of M extorquens. PPFMs-Go-71 with methanol sprays (757.23 kg ha-1).
  • Significant seed cotton yield increase due to bioinoculation (1.6% to 17.04%.)
  • PPFMs survived for three months without any significant reduction in population in liquid medium.
  • Cotton seeds imbibed with PPFMs showed survival for three months without significant reduction in population.
  • Seed imbibation with Azospirillum Az204 and PPFMs CO47 in cotton seed recorded maximum seed cotton yield.

Mass multiplication of PPFMs

Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs

C-3 Evaluation of Soil-site and series suitability for Cotton based cropping system

  • Using the base data generated by NESS & LUP on the soil suitability maps, evaluation of soil suitability for cotton based cropping systems were carried out in MP, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states. The major emphasis of the project was to find out soil suitability for cotton under different agro- ecological situations.
  • Evaluation of soil suitability for cotton-based cropping system in India was under taken in 9 states, 177 experimental sites for Desi and hybrid cotton (24 crop varieties)
  • The soils have been characterized, correlated, classified and identified 80 soil series for soil suitability evaluation.
  • The soil suitability database has been processed for preparation of soil suitability map and its depiction on soil resource map published by NBSS& LUP, Nagpur (1: 500,000 scale).
D - Modernisation of cotton cultivation

D-l Development of methodologies for prediction of regional level cotton yield by integrating Remote Sensing, GIS and crop models

  • In a network project, it was also decided to develop crop yield prediction methodology at regional level by utilizing crop models, such as, GOSSYM, CALGOS and COTTAM and remote sensing data on canopy spectral reflectance obtained through satellite imageries and GIS. Field experiments were conducted at Nagpur, Dharwad, Hissar, Coimbatore and Surat to generate database by resorting to different dates of sowing and fertility levels.
  • INFOCROP – a generic model to cotton adopted and the Model simulated yield, LAI, and total dry matter was found in agreement with the observed under rainfed condition.
  • Regression models based on rainfall and temperature were developed for Nagpur and Dharwad district
  • The cotton area has been estimated using the remote sensed data.
Raw Data Classified Data

D-2 Mechanisation of tillage, planting, inter-culture and plant protection operations in cotton

  • Cotton cultivation has been more manual and therefore in the mission mode approach it was decided to examine the possibilities of mechanization of tillage, planting, interculture, plant protection operations in cotton.
    The survey conducted in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra & Andhra Pradesh indicated that there are wide gaps in the process of mechanization under irrigated as well as rainfed situation. The only operation, which was fairly mechanized, was of tillage utilizing animate as well as inanimate power in all zones.
  • A two-row tractor drawn Cotton Stalk Uprooter designed, fabricated and tested.
  • Time sorting Light and pheromone traps for studying timely activity of Cotton insects developed.
  • Evaluation of existing implements for tillage, planting, interculture and weeding carried out.
  • Different nozzles evaluated for their droplet size distribution and suitability in cotton spraying.
CICR Cotton Planter
CICR Bullock Drawn Cotton Planter
CICR Bullock Drawn Cotton Planter
CICR Time Sorter with Light Trap
CICR Time sorter Pheromone Trap
CICR Peristaltic Sprayer

D-3 Development of precision farming techniques for higher productivity

  • In this mission program, the target has been fixed for improvement of productivity along with quality. Therefore, some of the agronomical approaches like efficient farming techniques were considered as a strategy for higher productivity of good quality cotton for quick evaluation and dissemination to cotton farmers. Water is one of the limiting factors in cotton productivity. Use of micro irrigation systems have already been recommended. A network project on irrigation scheduling & effect of fertigation on cotton production & productivity was conducted.
  • Application of irrigation to hybrid cotton (NHH-44) through drip (alternate day) enhanced seed cotton yield over surface irrigation.
  • Seed cotton yield increase over surface irrigation due to drip was 32 to 43%. Drip irrigation saved irrigation water 18 to 50% over surface irrigation.
  • Irrigation Schedule: Different irrigation drip schedules were at par and significantly superior over surface irrigation. Qua1ity parameters were not influenced by drip compared to surface irrigation.
  • Fertigation: i) 100% RDF of NK proved better than 75% RDF NK
    ii) Application of NK at four splits gave higher seed cotton yields over six splits. Highest seed cotton yield (3170 kg/ha) was recorded with 100% RDF NK with four splits however, it was at par with 75% RDF with 4 splits. Different levels of fertigation did not have significant effect on quality parameters.
E. Biotic Stress Management

MME-3: Development of diagnostic tools for differentiation of biotypes/ races of pathogen and insect pests

  • Validated the existence of host races of Indian H.armigera through taxonomic, behavioral and molecular tools described in the previous year.
  • Phylogenetic analysis was carried out utilizing the RAPD data sets to understand the relationship between cotton and non- cotton strains- the two strains separated into two clusters
  • Demonstrated the differences in the toxicity of cotton allelochemicals to the two host- races- the non- cotton strain was more susceptible to cotton allelochemicals compared to the cotton strain.
  • Sequenced the CO 1 region of the two host races - No mutation observed in the region sequenced.

MME-4: Development of effective biocontrol agents and molecular techniques to improve antagonists

  • Mass production of Nomuraea rileyi – testing three yeast sources
  • Effect of temperature on the sporulation of N. rileyi
  • Virulence of different isolates of N. rileyi grown on rice + 5% yeast granules at different conditions
  • Isolation and characterization of active principle and identification and cloning of genes responsible for antagonism
  • Efficacy of various bioagents against Alternaria leaf spot
Spores on Rice
Spore dust
Spores in Rice flour
Spores in oil + WA (9:1)
F - Post harvest technology of cotton

F-1 Utilisation of Cotton byproducts for value added materials

  • The Project is visualized to develop chances of value addition of cotton stalks that are otherwise burnt away in farms, if not used for fuel in the villages. The outcome of the project could give a chance for the cotton farmers to be given a share of this potential value addition. There is wide scope for utilization of cotton byproduce for value added products, which has been demonstrated by the studies of CIRCOT the current project.

  • Cotton stalk compacting machine developed
  • Soft boards from cotton stalks prepared
  • Paper prepared from high grade linter pulp
  • Linter pulp used for preparation of Microcrystalline Cellulose
Cotton Stalk Compacting Machine


G – Impact Assessment of Cotton Production Technologies

G – 1 : Technology Intervention and Socio-economic Analysis in Cotton based Cropping System

  • Through the use of secondary data and review of literature, all the centers have identified the technologies developed by them since 1980. One hundred and eighty two technologies have been documented.
  • All fifteen centers have identified the most promising technologies.
  • Instrument to map the adoption pattern was developed at the Lead center.
  • Some latest technologies from the technologies documented were selected with a criteria of rejection or partial adoption.
  • More than 110 technology interventions were administered to assess them on farmers fields either through Verification trail or On-farm trial. More than 850 farmers were involved in the process of technology assessment.
  • One audio cassette was prepared on “New techniques of cotton cultivation” in Marathi language. Two hundred and fifty copies of this cassette are being distributed to cotton cultivators in Maharashtra.
  • One video film on “Cotton Production Technology” was prepared in Marathi for screening to the cotton cultivators in Maharashtra.
    Insecticide Resistance Management : Environment friendly way
  • In intensive agriculture, insecticides have been looked upon as omnipotent weapons for modern pest management. Excessive and indiscriminate use of insecticides in cotton has led to problems of insecticide resistance, pest resurgence, accumulation of harmful residues and toxicity to non-target organisms. This has prompted the necessity for the development of non-insecticidal alternatives that could be feasible and effective for insect pest management, while also being compatible with environment. Primarily, the Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) strategies aim to slow down the resistance treadmill, thereby extending the usefulness of available chemicals.

Technologies refined

Sr. No
Name of Technology
Brief description of the technology
1 Cotton based inter-cropping system (cotton + Gr.Nut) Inter-crop of ( Cotton + Ground-Nut ) at the ratio of 1:1 keeping the row to row distance of 90 cm in cotton and planting one row of Ground- nut in the middle keeping the distance of 45 cm . Inter-crop of ( Cotton + Ground- Nut) at the ratio (1:2), planting two row of Ground-nut in between cotton, keeping row to row distance of 30 cm for Ground-nut.
2. Supplementing nutritional requirement with bio-fertilizer in cotton Recommended fertilizers dose for hybrid (45:45:45 NPK kg/ha)+
Azatobactor+ PSB as basal dose and Top dressing : 45 kg N/ha.

Basal dose: (22:45:45 kg/ha NPK) + Azatobactor + PSB

Second dose of 23 N kg/ha N , 30 DAS.

Third dose of 23 kg/ha N, 60 DAS.

3. Integrated Pest Management in cotton
• Use of Marigold as trap crop for controlling the bollworm in cotton.
• Installation of mechanical bird perch.

• Keeping one row of Cow-Pea as trap crop for controlling the sucking pest in cotton.
• Use of Fox tail millet as trap crop for controlling the bollworm in cotton
• Use of sorghum as live bird perch.


H - Informatics, Documentation and Monitoring

H-l Information System on Cotton and CICR website

  • The project was designed to construct information system on cotton to retrieve information on various aspects of cotton. In the initial phase data from different agencies were collated which include district-wise and state-wise data over a period of years on area, production, productivity, staple-wise consumption by mills have been collected and digitized along with the International statistics. Pest and disease related information have also been compiled along with photograph.
  • Cotton information retrieval system consisting basic, industry, international and pest/diseases modules which include area, production, productivity, varietal information, scenario of Indian cotton industry, Cotton consumption by mills and import and export of cotton over the years, variety wise area under cotton besides, cost of cultivation and pest/ disease management etc. was developed.
  • CICR web site was launched with information on on-going projects such as TMC, NATP, AICCIP with research highlights.
  • Digital photo library on cotton also under preparation.
  • Documentation of cotton farm implements is also under preparation.

Information compiled, Page designed and developed by M. Sabesh, Scientist(SS), CICR, Coimbatore