Trackable CEMB-Klean Cotton Transgenic Technology: Affordable Climate Neutral Agri-biotech Industrialization for Developing Countries

Zahida Qamar, Muhammad Tariq, Tahir Rehman, Muhammad Shahzad Iqbal, Muhammad Bilal Sarwar, Muhammad Nauman Sharif, Zohaib Hassan, Ayesha Ahmad, Aiman Zahra, Ayesha Latif, Bushra Rashid, Bushra Tabassum, Sameera Hassan, Allah Baksh, Saira Azam, Shafique Ahmed, Kamran Shahzad Bajwa, Mudassar Fareed Awan, Naila Shahid, Arfan Ali, Abdul Munim Farooq, Abdul Qayyum Rao, Muhammad Saleem Haider, Tassawar Hussain Malik, Idrees Ahmad Nasir


Background: Transgenic technology reflects the incorporation of novel useful traits in crop plants like cotton for economic benefits by overcoming the problems including insects’ pests and weeds in special. The present study is the success story of the continuous effort of CEMB team started back in the 1990s.

Methods: This study includes characterization of a large number of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strains taken from local soil and subjected to direct transformation of isolated BT genes into local cotton cultivars. Protocols for transformation into cotton plants were optimized and validated by the development of double gene codon optimized (Cry1Ac and Cry2A) transgenic cotton varieties.

Results: The resulting GMOs in the form of CEMB-33, CA-12, CEMB-66 have been approved by Punjab Seed Council in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Double Bt and weedicide resistant cotton harboring CEMB-Modified and codon optimized cp4EPSPS (GTGene). These varieties can tolerate glyphosate spray @ 1900ml per acre without the appearance of necrotic spots/shedding and complete removal of all surrounding weeds in the cotton field is a significant advance to boost cotton production without spending much on insecticides and herbicides.

Conclusion: In the current report, two unique sets of primers which amplify 1.1 Kb for CEMB-double Bt genes and 660 bp product for CEMB-Modified cp4EPSPS (GTGene) were tested. CEMB cotton variety CKC-01 is specially designed as low cost and easy to use by local farmer’s technology has the potential to revolutionize the cotton growing culture of the country.

Keywords: Event detection; Bt Cotton; CEMB transgenic technology; GTGene

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