Significant Achievements


Development of world's first inter-specific hybrid Varalaxmi and later DCH-32 in 1970s by University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and their wide spread cultivation lead to great saving of foreign exchange and upliftment of economic status of cotton farmers. The tradition of developing potential inter-specific hybrids has continued with release of another hybrid DHB-105 and some more at prerelease stage.

The first naturally coloured cotton genotype of India, DDCC-1 ( G.arboreum ) is a marvel of genetic amelioration in fibre colour and it is now under cultivation in this region.

Biotechnological research at UAS., Dharwad has lead to substantial progress in incorporation of Bt genes in to cotton genotypes of commercial importance. It is expected to deliver first public. Bt. Cotton for commercial cultivation in India.

Very aptly Indian Council of Agricultural Research has crowned the team of workers of this station with National Award during 1999.

Research on hirsutum cottons lead to the development of Laxmi, which became a house hold name to symbolize hirsutum cotton. The first conventionally bred bollworm tolerant varieties like Abadhita and Sahana have been accepted by farmers and textile industry. They are now utilized as most preferred genetic resource for this special feature in medium staple category. Cotton varieties ACP-71 and AH-107 suitable for multiple cropping system have been released for commercial cultivation from Arabhavi. Morpho physiology based breeding and selection done at Raichur lead to development of varieties like RAMPBS-155, RAH-100 for irrigated and RAS-299-1 for rainfed ecosystems.

Work on hirsutum hybrids has lead to release of DHH-11, DHH-543 and a score of hybrids at prerelease stage testing at national level. This university has a pride place in genetic improvement in diploid (desi) cotton research. Two herbaceum varieties like Jayadhar and DB-3-12 (Renuka) developed by the university become icons of desi cotton cultivation in over 2 lakhs hectares of dry land area in Karnataka. Because of the wide adaptability of these varieties in optimum as well as low rainfall regions. They have been the basis of livelihood for millions of poor farmers. The on going research has lead to newer varieties like DDhC-11 (from Dharwad for rainfed situation). Introgressive breeding in arboreum cottons has lead to development of long staple variety, DLSa-17.

Biochemistry :

  • Plant metabolites like tannin, carbohydrates and proteins are estimated in cotton lines.
  • Lines like CPD-423 and CPD-428 have been found to possess high tannin. They are highly tolerant to bollworms and moderately tolerant to sucking pests as compared to LRA-5166
  • They have been used in hybrid development programme and hybrids DHH-11 and DHB-105 have been derived their bollworm tolerance was also due to high tannin content in squares and boll rings.
  • Proline accumulation is increased as salinity level increased. LRA-5166 showed high level of praline in tetraploids followed by AK-235 a diploid.
  • Water soluble protein banding pattern as given stable finger printing for differentiation of parents and hybrids.
  • Glutamate dehydrogenase enzyme banding pattern is able to differentiate A,R and B lines in CGMS system
  • The per se performance of oil and oil associated characters like GOT (%) and seed index (g), seed percentage, fuzz percentage, kernel percentage, seed coat percentage and oil percentage characters of interspecific hybrids have been carried out. The lowest and highest values among 25 hybrids for kernel percentage ranged from 55.46 (CPD-476 x Termez) to 69.46 percent (Abadhita X BCS-23-1-7) with mean 63.35 per cent. Seven out of 25 hybrids expressed significant superiority over check DCH-32 (62.45%). The top cross combinations that recorded top three positions with respect to kernel percentage were viz., Abadhita X BCS-23-1-7 (69.46%), CPD-418 X B-82-1-1 (67.38%) and CPD-418 X Termez (66.67%).
  • The oil percentage ranged between 18.51 (S-43 X Termez) and 22.67 (5.43 X B-82-1-1) with a grand mean of 20.07 per cent. Fifteen hybrids exhibited significant superiority over check DCH-32. The top three combinations were namely, S-43 X B-82-1-1 (22.07%), CPD-418 X BCS-23-1-17 (21.99%) and CPD-428 X Giza-70 (21.64).
  • Under severe drought season, 2001-02, the mean of activity of nitrate reductase of G.herbaceum (0.923) was greater than G.hirsutum (0.162). Between G.herbaceum , Jayadhar recorded highest nitrate reductase activity (1.842 m M NO 2 - /hr/g) followed by GH-18 vc (1.690 m M NO 2 - /hr/g) and RAHS-29 (1.556 m M NO 2 - /hr/g). Among G.hirsutum, RS-2013 recorded highest nitrate reductase activity (1.152 m M NO 2 - /hr/g) followed by 4350504 (0.300 m M NO 2 - /hr/g) and PUSA 180 (0.276 m M NO 2 - /hr/g). So genotypes belonging to G.herbaceum are more tolerant to drought than G.hirsutum . Jayadhar is unbeatable even after its 50 th birth anniversary.
  • Protocol has been standardized for in vitro screening for salt tolerance in cotton using shoot apical meristem culture. Initially four genotypes belonging to four cultivated species were chosen for in vitro screening with NaCl. Initially only NaCl was used for screening salt tolerance. Among the four genotypes cultivated on different levels of salt, two genotypes Abadhita, and SBYF-425 belonging to tetraploid species were having less tolerance to salt compared to the genotypes belonging to two diploids (Jayadhar and A-82-1). Though in both the tetraploid genotypes, normal plants survived at 9.14 g/L. with normal growth, very high per cent plants were abnormal at 18.28 g/L. Therefore though more of the plants died at 20 g/L., this level was not taken as critical limit but higher levels were tried and it was found that the per cent of abnormal plants increased as the level of NaCl increased till 36-56 g/L. At 45.7 g/L., there was no regeneration at all. Though diploid genotypes were having higher tolerance to salt, abnormal plants were observed in both the herbaceum and arboreum species till 45.7 g/L.
  • Biochemical analysis indicated that G.cot 16 had lower reducing sugar content than Sahana. It indicates higher amount of reducing sugar makes genotypes susceptible to sucking pest's incidence. Even though BCS-23 ( G.barbadense ) showed higher reducing sugar content, the incidence was low. It indicates that genotypes belong to G.barbadense may show resistance reaction to leaf minor.
  • NRase activity was varied from 1.937 m M of nitrate per milligram of protein to 8.271 m M. LAM-780 (8.271) expressed higher activity of NRase followed by CPD-745 (7.11) and F-1980).


1.Dry sowing in cotton: Early sowing of cotton was achieved by sowing of cotton in dry soil before onset of monsoon produced consistently higher yield of cotton over normal sowing. Similarly, crowbar method of sowing also produced higher cotton yield when sowing was made before onset of monsoon.

2. Planting geometry: Suitable planting geometry for intrahirsutum cotton for assured rainfall conditions of Karnataka is 90x30 cm under low/medium fertility conditions and wider spacing of 90x60cm for high fertility soils. In general higher populations gives more yield advantages.

3. Nutrient management:

  • Intrahirsutum hybrids under assured rainfall conditions require NPK in the ratio of 80:40:40Kg/ha without any scope to respond at higher levels of fertilizers than this dose.
  • Integrated nutrient management practices with use of FYM @l0 t l ha or FYM 5t + crop residue 2 .5tlha or FYM 3.3tons + crop residue 1.67 t/ha+ vermi compost 0.83tlha along with 100% Recommended dose of fertilizers can able to produce maximum yield on sustainable basis than use of fertilizers or organics alone.
  • Studies made to produce organic cotton under rainfed conditions reveals that FYM @10tlha or FYM @ 5 t/ha + VC 1.25t/ha with use of biopesticides for pest control can produce higher yield of organic cotton as compared to any other organics. A special Premium price can only benefit this crop over common commercial cotton.
  • Bio fertilizers in cotton: Soil application of bio fertilizers viz., PSB and Azospirillum were better than seed treatment. Responses of biofertilizers were more at lower rate of fertilizers or with only FYM applications as compared to 100% RDF applications.

4.Weed Control in cotton: Integrated weed management in cotton with pre emergent application of Diuron 80 WP @1.0 kg ai /ha with one hand weeding at 50-60days proves to be best weed control method over normal weed control. Critical period of crop weed interference is around 50-06 days in cotton.

5. Cropping system studies:

  • Intercropping of cotton with potato can be beneficially grown with paired row painting (45-75-45x30cm) or cotton+ potato (1:1 row ratio) as compared to sole cotton under assured rainfall conditions. It increases net income and B: C ratio of cotton cultivation.
  • Intercropping of cotton with sunflower in 2:1 or 3:1 row ratios proved to be remunerative over sole cotton and other oilseed intercrops.
  • Intercropping of cotton with vegetables proves to be most remunerative. Cotton with potato (1:1), Tomato (1:1), Coriander (1:2), and Beans (1:1) were found to produce highest net returns and C:B ratio as compared to sole cotton under assured rainfall conditions.

6. Agronomic studies of Bt cotton: Significant yield advantages were observed for Bt genotypes of Mahyco and Rasi hybrids as compared to their non bt types and local checks. Application of 100% RDF (80:40:40kg NPK/ha) found to be suitable to these hybrids also, and were not responding beyond that levels. Overall these intrahirsutum bt hybrids requires an ideal spacing of 90x60cm for higher yield.

7. Sowing time of Desi cotton: Sowing in the month of June is optimum for both G.herbaceum (Jayadhar) and G. arboreum (DLSA-17) type of cotton. Delayed sowing from June to July and further to August decreased yield significantly in both types of cotton. Optimum spacing of 60 x 30 is ideal over wider spacing (75x20 cm) or narrow spacing (60x20 cm) for both types of cotton.

Cotton Entomology

Preliminary screening of breeder's material for resistance to insect pests

  • A total of 965 genotypes belonging different cultivars groups have been screened under rainfed condition at Dharwad for insect pest management and promising ones have been utilized by breeders.
  • A total of 856 genotypes have been screened for insect pest reaction under irrigated condition at Raichur.
  • New hybrids viz ., DHH-543, DHB-290, RAHH-95, RAHB-87, desi cotton varieties viz. , DLSa-17, DDhc-11 and Rahs-14 have been developed and released by breeders based on insect pest tolerance or resistance results.
  • Promising entries from preliminary screening have been subjected for epizootic screening against leaf hoppers and L-763, GJHV-374, GSHV-01/26, NHH-02, NCHH-907 have been found promising with injury grade-I.

Population dynamics of key pests of cotton: Regular and weekly observations have been made for insect pest incidence in protected and unprotected condition. The data on insect dynamics is helpful for initiating insecticide intervention and forewarning to farmers.

Seed treatment for the control of sucking pests: Wettable seed dressers and flowable suspension formulation of neonicotinid viz ., imidacloprid thiamethoxam and carbosulfan have been tested for effectiveness against early sucking pests of cotton under rainfed (Dharwad) and irrigated (Raichur) condition.

Spray molecules for sucking pest: Various spray formulations of new insecticides viz ., clothianidin 50 WDG, Acetamiprid 20 SP, Imidacloprid 200 SL. Thiamethoxem 35 FS. Chlothianidin 600 FS, carbosulfan 25 DS, Diapenthuron 50 WP etc have been tested and promising chemicals have been recommended.

Chemical control of bollworms: Different formulations of new insecticide molecules have been tested for their efficacy against bollworms under rainfed (Dharwad) as well as irrigated (Raichur) conditions. The molecules tested are Spinosad 48 SC, Indoxacarb 15 SC, Chlopyriphos methyl 45 EC, Zetamethrin 10 EW F-6028 SC, Bifenthrin 10 EC, E-237 1% EC. Emamectin benzoate 5 SG, NNI 0001 480 SC, Spinosad 45 SC (new A: D), KN-128 15% EC, S-1812 10 EC and RIL-042 240 SC. The promising molecules have been recommended for package of practices.

Chemical control of whiteflies: Diafenthuron (polo) 50 SC @ 400 gai/ ha has been found effective in checking the incidence of whiteflies.

Chemical control of pink bollworms: Thiodicarb 70 SP (750 gai/ ha) and Profenophos 50 EC (500 gai/ ha) have been found most promising for pink bollworm management.

Integrated pest management: Ideal and adoptable IPM modules developed for rainfed and irrigated cotton is being demonstrated every your at Dharwad and Raichur. Leading cultivar viz., DHH-11, NHH-44, Sahana etc have been used for demonstration.

Integrated pest management in Bt cotton : Easy to adopt and cost effective module for Bt cotton has been developed and being demonstrated. The module involves seed treatment with imidacloprid, okra as trap crop NSKE 5% and selective use of insecticide.

New insecticides recommend for package of practice.

  • Bollworms:

    • Indoxacarb 15 Sc @ 0.5 ml/ l
    • Spinosad 48 SC @ 0.1 ml/ l
    • Emamectin benzoate 5 SC @ 0.2 g/ l
    • Novaluron 10 EC @ 1.0 ml/ l
    • Beta-cyflumethrin 0.25 SC @ 0.50 ml/ l

Sucking pests: Imidacloprid 70 WS @ 10 g / kg and Thiamethoxam 70 WS 5 g/ kg for seed treatment. Acetamiprid 20 SP @ 0.1 g/ l, Imidacloprid 200 SL @ 0.25 ml/ l and clothianidin 50 WDG @ 0.07 g/ l for spraying against sucking pests.

Pesticide application technology: Stem smearing of imidacloprid 200 SL solution (1.0 ml in 20 ml of water) reduces early sucking pests effectively.

Cultural practice: Nipping at 70-90 DAS helps in checking oviposition by bollworm moths and also prevents breeding of aphids.

Evaluation of Bt cotton hybrids: Bt cotton hybrids MECH-162, MECH-184 and MECH-12, RCH-2, RCH-20 and RCH-144 have been tested under protected as well as unprotected condition. These Bt hybrids have been evaluated for fitness under biointensive as well as adoptable IPM module. Evaluation of Bt hybrids under unprotected and ETL based protected has been a regular programme since 2003.

Special attention to PBW management: Mass trapping technique using 35 sleeve traps/ ha has developed for manage PBW effectively has been developed. Mating disruption technique using PB Rope L @ 200 / ha has been developed and demonstrated at large scale (40 hectare) effectively in interspecific hybrid cotton viz. , DHB-290, DHB-105, DCH-32 etc.

Supervisory control of PBW i.e. a need based pesticide application technology has been developed with extension of spray schedule with pyrethroids based on moth trap catches of PBW after the cessation of Helicoverpa moth activity.


  • Under weather correlation studies for disease development it is observed that except Alternaria leaf spot and gray mildew higher temperature and high humidity are congenial for Bacterial blight and in the former, low temperature and high humidity are favorable for them.
  • Pseudomonas fluorescence Pf1 strain developed from Coimbatore has been found effective for foliar diseases of cotton and has been released at national level.
  • Carbendizem (0.1%) has been found effective in controlling grey mildew in cotton.
  • Chloroathalonil (0.1%) + Mancozeb (0.1%) spray at boll formation stage is effective to manage the boll rot.
  • G. arboreum lines viz., 30814. 30815, T-1/57-1-1 and B-Desh have been found immune to grey mildew.

Physiology :

  • Foliar application of 1% MgSO4 at 90 days reduces the leaf reddening in cotton, and enhances the yield to a tune of up to 20%
  • Foliar spray of 10% methanol at 65 and 85 days increases seed cotton yield under rainfed condition
  • Foliar spray of 10ppm NAA at 60 and 75 days reduces the shedding of reproductive parts in cotton
  • Under high rainfall / irrigated condition foliar spray of CCC@ 60ppm / mepiquat chloride at 500 ppm at 80-90 days reduces the excess vegetative growth and maintains the reproductive growth
  • While evaluating genotypes for drought / terminal water stress the following genotypes were found promising
  • CPD-431, NA-1588, RAH-101, DHH-11, DHH-543, Sahana, JK-276-10-5, RAH- 221, L-762, GShV-97/612, MSKD-26, L-604.
  • The following genotypes were found salinity tolerant. RAHS-14, Laxmi, GDh-9, Dhy-286, AK-82643
  • The crop growth simulation model on cotton "COTTAM" predicts 10-20% deviation in yield depending on the date of sowing.
  • Characterization of weather parameters for Dharwad condition has been done based on historical weather data.
  • The heat units or Growing Degree Days (GDD) required for various growth phases in cotton genotypes has been done.

Sr.Scientist (Cotton),
Agricultural Research Station,
Dharwad Farm,
Dharwad - 580 007

Phone no: 0836-2447874(O) 2776263(R)

Fax no: 0836-2745276

Email :