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New cotton strain to raise output by 25%
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-19 05:48

A major cotton breeding breakthrough has made China the first country in the world to commercialize a cotton strain that can resist bollworms and increase output by 25 per cent.

Guo Sandui poses with his cotton strain in this file photo. [Net]
The milestone advancement was pioneered by scientist Guo Sandui and his team at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The breakthrough won wide acclaim from officials and experts over the weekend.

Building on his success of insect-resistant, genetically-modified cotton, of which 2.3 million hectares was planted this year, Guo's research team in 1999 started to work out a molecular breeding system for hybrid cotton.

After years of hard work, Guo, the "father of Chinese Bt transgenetic cotton," was able to have his "Yinmian 2" cotton strain approved by the National Crop Cultivar Assessment Committee, which gave the go-ahead for its commercialization, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The "three-line hybrid cotton with insect-resistant gene," if planted on the 3.33 million hectares of land where it is fit to grow, will theoretically increase output by 1 million tons each year.

That amounts to what conventional strains may be able to yield on 666,600 hectares, which is the equivalent size of all the cotton fields in the Yangtze River Delta, a leading cotton producer in China, Vice-Minister of Agriculture Fan Xiaojian said on Saturday.
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