China, the largest cotton producers in the world, has made a breakthrough in controlling a major disease of cotton plants using gene technology, media report said today.
After eight years of research, Chinese scientists with the Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences found that gene interference technology can prevent the spread of a pathogenic fungus, the cause of verticillium dahliae wilt, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Verticillium dahliae is a vascular fungal pathogen responsible for devastating many crops.
Led by Guo Huishan, the research group has discovered how the fungus infects the cotton.
Based on their findings, scientists have cultivated a new strain of cotton with resistance to verticillium dahliae increased by 22.25 per cent.
“Anti-pathogenic fungus cotton will help cotton farmers make more money,” said Guo.
The findings have been published in the latest edition of “Nature Plants”, the report said.