Navigation Links
Researchers help develop pest-resistant eggplant for South Asia
Date:10/8/2007

Cornell researchers and Sathguru Management Consultants of India have successfully led an international consortium through the first phase of developing a pest-resistant eggplant. By about 2009 this eggplant is expected to be the first genetically engineered food crop in South Asia. Farmers have grown genetically altered cotton in India since 2002.

The engineered eggplant expresses a natural insecticide derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), making it resistant to the fruit and shoot borer (FSB), a highly destructive pest. The tiny larvae account for up to 40 percent of eggplant crop losses each year in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, and other areas of South and Southeast Asia.

The work on the resistant eggplant is part of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) II, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and administered by Cornell in partnership with Sathguru, a firm associated with Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Cornell researchers from plant breeding, entomology, molecular biology, applied economics, communication, international programs and the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization began collaborating on the development of the Bt eggplant in 2002. Another partner, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds, is on schedule to commercialize the genetically modified fruit by 2009.

"Cornell has worked effectively to facilitate a productive partnership between the public and private sectors that will make this technology available to eggplant producers at every economic level," said Ronnie Coffman, international professor of plant breeding and genetics and director of International Programs in CALS.

"In five years, with support from Sathguru and Cornell, our partners were able to bring this flagship program to field trials and get food, feed and environmental safety approvals," said K.V. Raman, Cornell professor of plant breeding.

All the safety tests for the Bt eggplant have been conducted in India, starting in greenhouses and now moving to large-scale field trials. The eggplant has been found to be nontoxic to fish, chickens, rabbits, goats, rats and cattle as well as nonallergenic. Ongoing tests will examine such questions as whether the plant will continue to resist FSB in the field and for how long; whether the Bt eggplant cross pollinates with other eggplants in the field and how far the Bt plants should be from other eggplant fields; whether nontarget insect populations are affected in the long term; and how yields compare with those of other eggplant varieties.

It is estimated that the Bt eggplant will reduce insecticide use by 30 percent while doubling the yield of marketable fruit (although eggplant is eaten as a vegetable).

Eggplant is a popular crop in the subtropics and tropics, especially in India and Bangladesh, where it is grown on about 1.5 million acres.

India and Bangladesh together expect to plant 110,000 acres of the FSB-resistant eggplant commercially by the end of 2010 and 650,000 acres by 2015. Economists from Cornell and other institutions report that the Bt eggplant would result in lower prices for consumers, higher yields for farmers and, by 2015, boost the Indian economy by $411 million and the Bangladeshi economy by $37 million.

"In spite of the green revolution in India, agricultural growth has stagnated there to less than 2 percent per year," said Raman. "It is important for a land-grant university like Cornell to be engaged in the improvement of technologies and help create a road map that leads to agricultural and economic growth in places like South and Southeast Asia and Africa."


'/>"/>
Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University News Service
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
5. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
6. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
7. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
8. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
9. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
10. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
11. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through ... Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion of ... sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within ... advanced design and manufacturing event will take place June ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 No two people ... at the New York University Tandon School of ... have found that partial similarities between prints are ... in mobile phones and other electronic devices can ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the Next Nature Network and ... has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in support of International Earth ... and victim to its own technology, but to employ technology to enhance our ... ... of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ‘Next Nature’ at the University ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... The Vibrating ... key device for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research applications such ... monodisperse solid particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , ... April 18, 2017 , ... ... Halo Labs . The move comes after the company changed focus to making ... our new brand and our new technology,” says CEO Robert Hart. Founders Bernardo ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... WHO: Peggy Lillis ... through education and advocacy. Founded in 2010 in memory of a single-parent mom ... foundation has become the most-consulted source for patient-focused information on C. diff infections ...
Breaking Biology Technology: