CSIRO seeks increased yield cotton trials
The Australian research organisation, the CSIRO, has applied to the Australian Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to field test eight cotton lines genetically modified for increased fibre yield. Six of the eight lines over-express one of three transcription factors, GhMYB25, GhMYB25-like and GhHD1, in a seed-specific or constitutive manner. The other two lines will be developed by cross-breeding between these six GM lines. All three genes are preferentially expressed in cotton ovules at the onset of fibre cell development, have very low expression levels in the ovules of fibreless mutants, and are involved in fibre development. Higher expression of these genes in cotton is expected to increase cotton fibre yields. The CSIRO plans to test the crop at one 0.5 ha site in New South Wales between August 2012 and August 2015.. The OGTR expects to issue a risk assessment and risk management plan in May.