Technology Mission on Cotton - Mini Mission - I

Research Highlights : 2003-04

MM1: Genetic Improvement of Cotton

MM 2 : Resource Management

MM 3 : Biotic Stress Management

MM 4 : Post Harvest Technology

MM 5 : Impact Assessment, Informatics and Documentation

MM1: Genetic Improvement of Cotton

MM 1.1: Development of diploid cotton cultivars with high fibre quality

During 2003-04, performance of 95 newly developed strains in 5 activities have been tested. In addition, 626 genotypes in early generations (F1 to F5) were evaluated and 1199 single plant selections were made at various centres to create desirable variability for enhancing genetic improvement of diploid cotton. Salient points are:

  • On the basis of performance of 29 strains at 11 locations, two strains viz, CINA-316 from Nagpur and PA-402 from Parbhani have been proposed for `Fast Track Release' and PA-402 has already been released by MAU, Parbhani during 2003-04 with the name `Vinayak'.

  • For North Zone, a strain RG-329 has been identified with superior 2.5% span length 26.14 mm and strength 18.30 g/tex in addition to yield potential (2541 kg/ha) compared to checks RG-8 and RG-18 having inferior fibre length (below 19 mm) and fibre strength (below 16 g/tex).

  • In Central Zone, performance of the strain PA-603 (1142 kg/ha) has been most promising with more than 58% higher yield than the checks PA-255 (720 kg/ha) and PA-402 (660 kg/ha) along with superior ginning outturn of 3866 % and better staple length of 28.0 mm.

  • The strain PA-8 with 0.7484% gossypol content, 25.17% oil content and seed cotton yield of 1416 kg/ha (check 1180 kg/ha) seem to be suitable for extracting edible oil with low manufacturing cost. The strain also has excellent fibre length (28.5 mm) at par with hirsutum cotton.

  • On the basis of fibre traits suitable for high-speed spinning, fifteen strains from the project MM1.1 have been identified for Fast Track Release by AICCIP.

MM 1.2 : Development of tetraploid cotton cultivars with high fibre quality and resistance to drought and biotic stresses

The most important findings are:

  • Culture CCH4 after multilocation testing at 5 centres in Central Zone and at 6 centres in South Zone, has been identified as superior to local and zonal checks and has been entered in AICCIP Agronomy trial for South Zone.
  • Cultures H1226 and CCH 510-4 are in pipeline for North and South zones respectively.
  • In addition, more than 1100 germplasm lines or synthetic breeding materials have been evaluated. Fifteen genotypes were found to be resistant to CLCuV disease.
  • A number of lines have been found with fibre strength (24.6-27.3 g/tex) and are being utilized. Compled with CLCuV resistance, several cultures with resistance to Jassids have been identified at Faridkot (5), Hisar (16), Sriganganagar (7) and CICR, Sirsa (25) in North zone and at Akola, Nanded in Central zone and at Coimbatore in South zone. Based on Relative Water Content (RWC %) and chlorophyll stability value, some cultivars have been identified as drought tolerant at Nanded and Coimbatore.

MM 1.3 : Genetic improvement through introgression of useful genes in cultivated species of cotton

  • A large no. of segregating populations developed at individual centers using both cultivated and wild gossypium species have been shared with other centers to isolate the desirable segregates for further utilization.

  • DLSA-17, first introgressed derivative from G. arboreum X G. hirsutum has been released for cultivation in Karnataka.

  • Introgressed genotypes like TCH-1649, TCH-1652 with good agronomic base have been identified for yield, biotic tolerance, fibre properties upto 27 g/tex strength and 30 mm length. IGM-1652, IGM 1653, Hh-8 and IS-376/4/3 have been found to be drought tolerant.KWIS-36,34,28,59,27,11 and 19 are very good for fibre length upto 30.5 mm.

MM 1.4 : Improvement of cotton seed oil

Some useful highlights are :

  • Sponsoring of lines to AICCIP trials : The culture CHNO12 with oil percent 21.77 and 1600 hg/ha seed cotton yield has been sponsored for AICCIP multilocation trial BrO2 (a) in 2004-05 season and another culture CHNO 3 with 26.68 % seed oil and seed cotton yield of 1395 kg/ha has been entered in BrO2 (b) trial.

  • A total of 234 new and old cross combinations were attempted during the season out of which 125 cross combinations were aimed at converting productive quality lines into ones with high seed oil content. Sixty two new single plant selections were initiated among crosses made earlier for seed oil content and fibre quality. Evaluation of advance cultures showed that the seed oil content varied from 2.03 to 27.11 %.

MM 1.5 : Maintenance breeding, seed production and marker based purity evaluation

  • Morphological markers have been developed and documented to characterize male and female parents and hybrids and also varieties on the basis of very easily identifiable characters like leaf/petal/stem colour, boll size, leaf nature, plant type/growth habit and some colorimetric observations.

  • Cataloguing of genetic markers using molecular techniques like RAPD, ISSR etc have been attempted. Eleven cotton hybrids and their parents were analysed using RAPD and ISSR markers. The RAPD polymorphic primer OPA 13 and OPA 14 and ISSR polymorphic primer 152 led to the conformation of Shruthi as hybrid and hence can be used as a discriminating marker for testing of genetic purity of hybrid.

  • Foliar application of DAP 2% alone or in combination with either B or Zn or both appeared promising for seed cotton yield as well as mature quality seed, but not consistent at all locations
MM 2 : Resource Management

MM 2.1 : Integrated nutrient management for high yield, quality fibre and yield</

Cotton crop is showing signs of fatigue in the intensively cropped areas of the North zone whereas, in the rainfed condition poor soil fertility and rain dependence are the constraints in yield realization. Some of the recommendations on the basis of field experiments conducted at eleven locations across the zones are :

  • In North zone, sulphur is the major limiting nutrient. Phosphorus status of the soil is quite low. Application of S @ 20kg/ha is recommended. At Banswara and Sriganganagar P status is quite high.
  • In Central zone, B and Zn deficiency have been observed at Bhopal and Nagpur sites whereas at Parbhani and Surat, N is low. For Zn deficiency, Zn @ 25 kg/ha as ZnSO4 once in 3 years may be applied.
  • In South zone, Coimbatore soil shows very high P and K, and hence P & K included in the recommendation can be reduced because of the high indigenous soil supply, and this will reduce the cost of cultivation.
  • Interestingly, ginning outturn has been significantly affected by nutrient management practices. The site specific nutrient management approach resulted in significantly better GOT than the RDF plot.

Thus nutrient management programme must be tailored to fit the location specific conditions and hence, some of the existing recommendations may need to be revised.

MM 2.2 : Integrated water management system for quality fibre production

The results obtained at different centers lead to the following inferences :

  • All the in situ rainwater conservation practices have given significantly higher seed cotton yield. Among different soil moisture conservation techniques, opening furrow in each row appears to be significantly superior.
  • Intercropping of cotton with soybean, black gram or green gram is beneficial in intercepting rains and conserving soil moisture
  • Alternate furrow irrigation has given WUE of 16.4 kg/ha/mm as against 9.4 kg/ha/mm in every furrow with applied irrigation.
  • Irrigation at 0.8IW/CPE ratio recorded significantly higher seed cotton yield than all other treatments.

MM 2.3 : Bioinoculants for sustainable and cost effective production of high quality fibre

Fifty two isolates of Azospirilum, 29 isolates of PSB (Phosphorus solubilising bacteria) and 297 isolates of PPFM (Methylobacterium species) were isolated from cotton rhizosphere and phylosphere of different cotton genotypes. The result of the trials at various centers revealed that there was an yield increase of 10.70%, 10.38 % and 0.30% seed cotton yield due to inoculation of GAU strain, HAU strain and TNAU strain of Azospirillum alongwith phosphobacterium and PPFM, TNAU.

MM 2.4 : Refining regional level prediction of yield

INFOCROP, a generic model has been adopted for cotton yield prediction and model has been calibrated for prediction of soil water balance in vertisols. Model has been validated using location, year, hybrid, variety, date of sowing, levels of fertilizer, rainfed and irrigated conditions. Yield has been predicted for the whole Nagpur and Dharwad districts. Still lot of improvement is needed to use the model on a regular basis for yield prediction for all the regions.

MM 2.5 : Ergonomically efficient implements for cotton production

Some implementable technologies generated under the project since its inception in 2000 are like :

  • Sowing machines for all power sources have been developed. Tractor drawn pneumatic planter, precision plot drill and ridger seeder are available for planting cotton and other bold seeds. Two row bullock drawn planter for cotton is also available. These machines have resulted in saving in time of 96% and cost of cultivation to the tune of 42-44% over conventional methods. The planters are recommended for North zone only, as check row planting is not practised in the other 2 zones. However, in Central and South zone in the areas where cotton is drilled, these planters and drills can be used.
  • A self propelled power weeder has been developed for small holding situation which results in a cost and time saving of 78% and 94% respectively over conventional manual weeding. Power tiller operated boom sprayer has been developed to enhance efficiency of spraying, wider coverage and safety of operators. These are recommended for all the 3 zones.


MM 3 : Biotic stress management

MM 3.1 : Integrated pest management (IPM) at village level for cost effective, quality production of cotton

The 2003-04 crop season has been a normal and favourable season for the cotton crop and the pest situation has been moderate to low in the three zones.

  • Area under cotton IPM was about 40 acre in North zone, 160 acre in Central zone and 220 acre in South zone. Data on pest population, natural enemies and the yield indicated that the IPM practices generally led to lower pest attack, requiring less number of pesticidal sprays and provided better benefit-cost ratio. There was almost 50% reduction in insecticide sprays in IPM block as compared to farmers practice. (FP). There was a two to four fold increase in the population of coccinellid and crysoperla adults.
  • A few centers have taken up the Pest Management Information System (PMIS) software build up and this would help in having a strong information base for local situations.

MM 3.2 : Development of diagnostic tools for biotypes/races

Some major findings which are of practical importance can be summarized as :

  • A rapid and simple PCR Protocol has been developed for detection of bacterial blight of cotton caused by the pathogen Xanthommonas axonopodis pv. Malvacearum. This will facilitate detection of African strains of the pathogen in imported seed samples as African strains of the pathogen are yet to be reported from India and hence are of quarantine significance. The PCR method in the form of diagnostic kit can aid in detection of seed borne infection in quarantine laboratories.
  • A new twig imprint method has been developed for detection of CLCuV infection in cotton. The protocol involves incubation of nitrocellulose membrabes bearing twig impressions of infected plants in antibody raised against cabbage leaf curl virus followed by detection with secondary antibody and colour substrate. The method will be perfected by using antibody specific against CLCuV.
  • Number of cornutal spines in the genitalia of male moths of Heliothis armigera was found to be of diagnostic significance. Such morphological marker can be used to predict the damage by the pest during crop season by examination of cornutal spines of the moths caught in pheromone traps.

MM 3.3 : Commercialisation of bioagent mass-production technologies in intensive cotton districts

A few viable findings are:

  • Fermented culture methodology was found suitable for mass production of Tricoderma and peak production was achieved only after 3 days.
  • Talc formulation of Tricoderma harzianum with 15 % moisture was found viable even after 180 days of storage at room temperature. This indicates that this formulation can be stored well under conditions normally prevalent
    in most parts of the cultures.
  • Modified protocol for mass production of Entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Heterolabditis indica has been standardized.


MM 4 : Post Harvest Technology

MM 4.1 : Quality evaluation of cotton fibre

The project comprises of testing and analyzing cotton samples received under various TMC-MMI projects to provide quality data to breeders. During the periodunder report, 2659 samples were received and tested for quality traits at CIRCOT (1859 samples) and its regional units (800 samples).

MM 4.2 : Commercial technology development for value addition

Some important findings are:

  • The Hand-cum-Power operated cotton stalk compacting machine has been fabricated from mild steel sheets. In the event of electricity failure, the machine can also be operated manually by rotating a wheel which brings down and up the pressing plate. It is possible to make about 200 bales of 10 kg each in a day of 6 hours employing 2 persons.
  • Commercial trial on preparation of hard board from cotton stalks showed that the process is technically feasible and good quality hard boards conforming to BIS specification can be prepared from cotton stalks.
  • Executive stationary materials were prepared from cotton linter pulp at Hand Made Paper Institute, Pune .
  • Paperboards from one tonne bleached linter pulp were prepared with the help of private mill. Efforts are underway to prepare different types of folders.


MM 5 : Impact Assessment, Informatics and Documentation

MM 5.1 : Evaluation of cotton production technologies for yield, fibre quality and economic viability

More than 100 technology interventions in 91 villages were administrated to assess them on 960 farmers' fields either through Verification Trial or on farm Trial and the total area covered under the project is 384.4 ha for implementing the technological interventions by all the 12 centers.

The following technologies have been assessed to be productive:

  • Planting of cotton on flat beds and opening of ridges and furrows at 1st intercultural operation has increased the productivity to the tune of 18 % over farmers practice of sowing of cotton on flat beds without opening of ridges and furrows.
  • In Central zone, it has been observed that on an average 16 % more yield can be achieved by adopting INM model. In North zone the practice of INM increases the productivity up to 16 % and input-output ratio was found to be 2.38 over farmers practice. In South zone, INM model increases the productivity by 22% over farmers practice.

MM 5.2 : Information, cotton website and documentation

  • User friendly cotton information retrieval system has been developed. The system constitutes a database of vast amount of data on all aspects of cotton. The data base contains around 25 data sets.
  • A website of CICR has been launched which is constantly being upgraded with information on various aspect of cotton including cotton production, protection, package of practice for cotton cultivation in different zones and information on projects such as NATP, TMC & Institute programmes.

MM 5.3 : TMC-MMI Coordination and Monitoring Cell

The Cell is constantly assisting Member Secretary, TMC-MMI in operating the projects across all the centers effectively. All the aspects like technical, financial, physical and administrative issues are being taken care of in consultation with the Council. During the year some of the major activities undertaken are:

  • Annual Progress Report of 2002-03 was compiled, edited, published and distributed to all concerned dignitaries, officials and participating centers.
  • Review meeting of all the four Mini Missions was organized in collaboration with Directorate of Cotton Development, Mumbai
  • Liaison with other mini missions and apex cotton bodies were regularly maintained by providing the required information on technical and financial progress of the mission.



Source : TMC Cell, Nagpur

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