By: Shishir Arya

NAGPUR: After a failed experiment in 2009, India is once again trying its hand at creating desi Bt cotton seeds. The city-based Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) this week signed a memorandum of understanding with Delhi University whose scientists have discovered a Bt gene – Tg2E-13. Research will now be conducted with the CICR to ensure commercial development of a genetically modified (GM) seed.

It is also learnt through sources that the CICR is also planning to tie up with Tamil Nadu Agriculture University for another gene discovered by a group of experts there. It will eventually work on developing a Bt cotton seed having both the genes.

The GM seed with two genes is expected to provide double protection against bollworm, the common pest hitting cotton crops. This will be projected as an alternative to the Bollgard 2 seed sold by US multinational Monsanto which has a monopoly on Bt cotton seed business so far since 2002.

Originally Published: The Times Of India