Bt Cotton

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WEL COME 1

Bt COTTON DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT STATUS IN INDIA:

Bt COTTON DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT STATUS IN INDIA 2

INTRODUCTION::

INTRODUCTION: What is a Bt-plant? Depending upon the type of pest to be controlled – whether it Is a Lepidopteron, Coleopteron, etc. - the relevant gene from the soil bacterium , Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) , is isolated, the protein tested against the target larvae and if found promising, the Bt gene is suitably modified and introduced into the desired plant species by genetic-engineering . The new Bt -gene gets stably integrated into the host genome and becomes an inheritable trait. Such transgenic plants containing the Bt -gene(s) are popularly called ' Bt -plants .' 3

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For example, Bt -cotton is incorporated with the lepidopteron specific gene (s) as it is designed to control bollworms and other caterpillars which belong to insect order Lepidoptera. Similarly we have Bt -corn, Bt -potato, Bt - brinjal (eggplant), Bt -rice, etc. with their encoded proteins providing insect control. 4 When was the first Bt plant commercialized? The first genes encoding the insecticidal Bt proteins were cloned in the early 1980s.

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The first Bt -cotton plants were developed by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in China and by Monsanto Company in the USA in the early 1990s. Regulatory approval and large scale commercial cultivation of Bt -crops which included Bt -cotton along with Bt -corn and Bt -potato developed by Monsanto , took place in the USA in 1996 . Thus, 1996 marked the beginning of commercialization of transgenic crops. 5

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How is a regular cotton plant modified into a Bt-cotton plant? It can be accomplished by introducing the identified Bt gene into the desired cotton cultivars by genetic engineering. 6

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The transformed cotton lines are then screened to identify the best ones expressing the Bt (Cry) protein(s) to control the target pests. These are used in further trait introgression breeding program which allows this useful gene to be introgressed into different Indian germplasm . 8

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How was Indian Bt-cotton first developed in the country? Monsanto provided the Bt -gene, cry1Ac ( Bollgard ®), incorporated into the seeds of the American cotton variety called Coker 312 to its Indian licensee Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company ( Mahyco ) along with the technology. Through routine back-crossing with the parental lines of Mahyco's proprietary hybrids, the gene was transferred from Coker 312 into them. Thus the native parental lines were converted into Bt -plants. Converted parental lines were strongly stabilized through multiple backcrossing before producing the Bt hybrids in the usual manner as cotton hybrids are produced. 9

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To date, more than 650 approved Bt -cotton hybrids of Gossypium hirsutum ( tetraploid American cotton) are available in the market. Many seed companies have also started developing interspecific hybrids between G. hirsutum and G. barbadense , with the Bt trait coming from G.hirsutum . The interspecific hybrids have superior fiber qualities. 10

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How long did it take to get the first approval of Bt-cotton in India? CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS & PRESENT STATUS : 1990 : A multinational American seed company Monsanto started negotiating the technology transfer agreement with the Govt. of India for its Bt cotton package. 1993: Monsanto started negotiating the technology transfer agreement with the seed company of Maharashtra namely the MAHYCO for its Bt cotton package. 11

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1995: Department of Biotechnology approved MAHYCO to import 100 g. of cotton seeds containing Bt cry 1 Ac gene. 1996: Approval by central government for import of the first Bt cotton variety US Cocker – 312. This variety was crossed with elite Indian varieties to produce locally adapted Bt varieties with Cry 1 Ac gene. 1996: First trials of Bt cotton. 1997: Field trials permitted in five states, viz. Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana & Maharashtra. 12

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1998: Field trials extended to four more states, viz. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab & Gujarat . 13 1998: As soon as above permissions were granted , Monsanto acquired 26% stake in MAHYCO, which later became 50-50 joint venture MAHYCO-M0nsanto Biotech [MMB]. 1998: MMB received approval from Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) of Department of biotechnology to conduct countrywide field trials on 85 hectares and to produce seeds in 150 hectares.

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2000: DBT allowed MAHYCO to conduct extensive field trials ,including seed production at 40 sites in 6 states based on the total confidential data from small scale trials. 2001: MMB approached GEAC for commercial release of Bt cotton varieties. 2001: GEAC approved field trials for another year on 100 hectares in 7 states. 14

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2001: GEAC withheld environmental clearance of large-scale cultivation of transgenic Bt cotton in June 2001. Instead it calls for fresh large-scale field trials under the supervision of committee set up by ICAR with representatives from MoEF , Department of co-operation & ministry of health, through advanced varietal trial programme of AICCIP. GEAC in the press release said MAHYCO may like to conduct field trials on farmers’ field in an area of 100 hectares under close supervision of GEAC and Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. 15

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It also advised collection of the complete evidences and data pertaining to impact of transgenic on human and animal food, spread of the cry protein resistant boll worms and impact on non-target soil micro flora &fauna. 2001: MMB discovers commercial cultivation of Bt cotton on over 10,000 acres in Gujarat traced the seeds(NAVBHARAT 151) to Hyderabad-based Navbharat seeds pvt.Ltd . 2001: GEAC Ordered Gujarat Biotechnology Co-ordination Committee to burn all illegal cotton plantations. 16

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The Bt-cotton technology was first approved in 2002 by the GEAC for commercial cultivation in central and south Indian cotton–growing zones in India in the form of three hybrids (MECH-12, MECH-162, and MECH-184). Subsequently, the GEAC approved RCH-2 ( Rasi seeds) in 2004 , for cultivation in the central and southern zones. In 2005 , another 16 hybrids were approved. Thus, the total reached to 20 Bt hybrids, with 6 for north, 12 for central and 9 for south India, thus making available the technology for entire country. 17

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18 By 2006, the total number of hybrids reached 62, with an additional approval of 38 more hybrids from 15 companies, which also included the commercial release of two new Cry1Ac based events, GFM-Cry1A of China and Event-1 of JK seeds . Realizing the immense potential of the technology, several Indian Seed companies rushed forward as sub-licensees of the technology to acquire the rights to incorporate the cry1Ac gene into their own hybrids .

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By 2007 , an estimated total of 138 Bt-hybrids were released for commercial cultivation. By the end of July 2008 , the total number of Bt-hybrids increased to 283 . By August 2009 the number increased to 564 Bt-hybrids and one Bt-variety. By August 2010 the total number of Bt-hybrids increased to 809 . By May 2012 there were 1128 Bt cotton hybrids available in the market. 19

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Direct benefits from Bt-cotton in India The main purpose of Bt-cotton is to control bollworms. Bollworm control : Bt cotton effectively controlled bollworms, especially the American Bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera , thus preventing yield losses from an estimated damage of 30.0 to 60.0% each year in India thus far from 2002 to 2011. Increased yields: Yields are estimated to have increased at least by 30.0% due to effective protection from bollworm damage. Reduction in bollworm infestations : The intensity of bollworms reduced significantly on cotton and also on other host crops. 20

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Reduction in pesticide use for bollworm control: The biggest gain from the technology was in the form of reduced insecticide usage from 46% in 2001 to less than 26% after 2006 and 21% during the last two years 2009 and 2011. Prior to the introduction of Bt cotton, about 9400 M tonnes of insecticides were used for bollworm control in India. In 2011, only 222 M tonnes were used for bollworm control. Elimination of bollworm threats: Farmers are no longer scared of impending bollworm infestations and the subsequent stress of using insecticide cocktails. Enhanced seed-cotton quality: The quality of seed-cotton from Bt-cotton fields was found to be better than non-Bt cotton because of negligible loculi damage and fiber damage. 21

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Earliness and determinate habit: Introduction of Bt gene into the hybrids has added the advantage of protection of early fruiting parts, thus resulting in earliness and determinate habit. The earliness ranged from 15 to 20 days in many hybrids in many parts of the country. There have been several added benefits to this. In North India, farmers were able to take up wheat cultivation immediately after early harvest of cotton. The number of picking reduced and the yield per each of the few pickings, increased. 22

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Bt –cotton has several advantages but it has some limitations also…….. 1 .High cost of Bt-cotton compared to non Bt seeds makes not afforded by small and marginal farmers in India. 2.Effectiveness upto 120 days, after that the toxin producing efficiency of the Bt gene drastically reduces . 3.Adverse effect on insecticide manufacturing companies due to reduced use of pesticides significantly by Bt cotton. 23

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4.Adverse effect on employment of those persons engaged in pesticide industries. 5.Ineffective against sucking pests like jassids , aphids, whiteflies etc. 6.Promotes malpractices such as mixing of low cost non Bt cotton seeds with high cost Bt cotton seeds for sale . This severely affects on cotton production and economic condition of the farmers using such fake seeds. 24

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Area , Production and Productivity of Bt Cotton : Cotton area was on the decline in India because of frequent bollworm infestation and outbreaks. The area declined from an average of 87 lakh hectares upto 2001 to a meager 78 lakh hectares in 2002 and 2003. With the advent of Bt-cotton, the area increased to 121.91 lakh hectares in 2011. Thus there was an additional increase of at least 30 lakh hectares because of the introduction of Bt-cotton. 25

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Cotton area in some states increased significantly in three states, Gujarat, AP and Maharashtra. The area in Gujarat was 16.87 lakh hectares in 2001, but, it increased to 30.23 lakh hectares by 2011. The area in Maharashtra was 29.8 lakh hectares in 2001, which increased to 40.91 lakh hectares by 2011. The area in Andhra Pradesh was only 10.0 lakh hectares in 2001, but increased to 18.8 lakh hectares by 2011. 26

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Imports and exports of Bt-cotton : India has been producing at least 1.0 M metric tonnes in excess of domestic consumption over the past few years. Domestic consumption also increased from 2.87 M tonnes in 2002, to 4.52 M tonnes in 2010. India became a leading global exporter of raw cotton with exports averaging at 53 lakh bales over nine years from 2003-2011 compared to an average of 1.18 lakh bales during the years 1997 to 2002 prior to the introduction of Bt cotton. Imports declined from an average of 16.50 lakh bales over 6 years between 1997 to 2002, to an average of 6.9 lakh bales over 9 years from 2003 to 2011. India exported a record 129 lakh bales in 2012. 30

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New Bt genes for new versions of Bt- cotton Monsanto‟s Bt-cotton technology Bollgard -II contains Cry1Ac + Cry2Ab. Dow agro Sciences are conducting trials with Wide-strike (Cry1Ac + Cry1F + pat); Bayer, India have initiated trials with twin-link (Cry1Ab + Cry2Ae + pat) and JK seeds have started trials on Cry1Ac+Cry1EC. The vip3A gene is yet another toxin that is likely to be pyramided with the existing toxins. 31

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32 THANK YOU…

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