Significant progress in cotton fiber improvement by gene engineering was elected for the Shanghai 2012 top ten scientific and technological achievemen
On March 20, 2012, Chinese GMO projects of cultivating new breeds -cotton breeding project-executive expert group held a news conference at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The expert group formally announced that, with the support of Chinese GMO projects, the research on genetic modification of the cotton fiber in China has made great progress, overall ranks the world, and has got the international invention patents and other intellectual property rights. This progress provided a solid basis for breeding high guality cotton and getting rid of the long-term dependence on imports. Cotton fiber improvement is our second major scientific and technological achievement in cotton, just after transgenic insect-resistant cotton.
Cotton fiber improvement involves a variety of indicators, such as the cotton fiber length, hardness, elasticity, and lint percentage. The fiber length is the most important indicator. Fudan University, State Key Laboratory of genetic engineering, Professor Jinshui Yang group conducted researches on plant cell size regulation for a long term, isolated and cloned the gene csRRM that is regulating plant cell size, and has obtained patent. On the basis of previous research, Professor Jinshui Yang and researcher Fuguang Li of the Chinese Cotton Research Institute subjected cooperation for the modified csRRM gene transformation into cotton. Transgenic cotton fiber has been significantly improved. Currently a number of cotton lines with improved traits has been obtained and used for breeding practice. The boll weight of csRRM transgenic cotton is up to 7.5 g，in average compared to 5.5 g for control cotton. Be relative to the control cotton，boll weight of transgenic cotton increased by 36%, boll number increased by 20%, and cotton fiber length increased 3mm. All these traits have a broad application potential in breeding high-yield and high-quality cotton.
Significant progress for fiber modification by gene engineering was elected for the Shanghai 2012 top ten scientific and technological achievements on May 14, 2013.