AICCIP Research Highlights : 2003 - 04
AICCIP Annual Group Meeting held at MPKV, Rahuri between 5 and 7 April 2004

Assitant Director General (Crop Science) Dr. K. C. Jain Inagurates AICCIP Annual Group Meeting also seen are Dr. Phundan Singh, Director CICR, Dr. Sreenivasan, Director CIRCOT, Dr. T P Rajendran, Project Coordinator(Cotton Improvement) & Head


Plant breeding evaluation of various breeding materials was undertaken during 2003 season. A total of 41 trials including both National and Zonal trials were formulated during the year. These trials were conducted in as many as 437 locations. Out of this, data from 364 locations alone were eligible for inclusion in the final compilation.

It is interesting to note that the Zonal/local checks have either occupied first rank or within the fifth rank in majority of the trials. A stage has arrived in which all breeders have to sit together to develop strategies to bring in more effective progeny from better parents to break the prevailing yield plateau of various breeding lines. The breeding materials from TM Mini Mission I projects shall be utilized in AICCIP trials after proper examination of their merits.

Similarly the evaluation carried out for the past several years have clearly indicated that the hybrids developed through use of male sterile system have not shown any yield superiority over the conventionally developed hybrids. The data of current year also indicate the same results as of previous years. The breeding materials developed in the Mini Mission I projects of Technology Mission on Cotton and NATP hybrid project shall be advanced on priority to achieve a fast track evaluation in the next two years. A logical and loud thinking is needed for continuation of such research in future years!


Trials on Hirsutum/Arboreum genotypes/hybrids, their agronomic requirements, tillage need, integrated nutrient management, foliar nutrition, integrated weed management and other location specific issues in cotton and cotton based cropping systems have been undertaken during 2003-04 at different AICCIP centers. These locations include Ludhiana, Faridkot, Hisar, Sirsa, Sriganganagar and Kanpur in North zone; Surat, Akola, Rahuri, Nanded, Nagpur, Indore, Khandwa and Bhawanipatna (Orissa) and voluntary centers such as Nagpur, Junagadh, Bharuch,Viramgam, Talod, Khedbrahma, anand and Amreli in Central Zone; and Lam (Guntur), Nandyal, Dharwad, Siruguppa, Coimbatore, Srivilliputtur in South Zone.

Agronomic studies have been carried out on the following important thematic areas:

• Agronomic requirements of promising pre-release/recently released cotton Hirsutum/Arboreum genotypes /hybrids
• Tillage management in cotton
• Integrated nutrient management (INM)
• Integrated weed management (IWM)
• Cropping system Research
• Location specific research

Research Highlights:

  • Package of practices for each location have been developed for the newly released varieties/hybrids and pre-release cultures of hirsutum and arboreum cotton.
  • Deep tillage once in two years followed by deep + conventional tillage produced significantly higher seed cotton yields and yield traits under Ludhiana condition whereas deep + conventional tillage was found optimum under Sriganganagar.
  • Integrated nutrient management with combined application of 50 % of the recommended dose (RD)-NPK, FYM @ 10 t/ha along with foliar spray of recommended nutrients at Faridkot, Hisar, Sriganganagar, and Nanded ; that of RD-NPK & FYM @ 10 t/ha at Kanpur, Khandwa, Akola , Rahuri, Indore, Siruguppa, Bhawanipatna, Coimbatore and Srivilliputtur; RD-N combined with FYM @ 10 t/ha at Junagadh; and 50 % RD-NPK along with FYM @ 10 t/ha RD-NP at Lam (Guntur) were found optimum in sustaining higher cotton productivity.
  • Foliar feeding of MgSO4 @ 1 % along with ZnSO4 @ 0.5% produced higher seed cotton yield as revealed from a 4 years trial at Indore. At Coimbatore & Srivilliputtur, combined application of RDF along with micronutrients was also beneficial for higher productivity.
  • Use of organics for production of eco-friendly cotton revealed that recommended NPK could yield superior or similar to organic treatments involving FYM, GM and crop residues etc. at Lam (Guntur) and Coimbatore.
  • Studies on the effect of macro- & micronutrition on cotton revealed that application of recommended NPK dose is useful at various locations although soil application of sulphur at Kanpur and Nanded, and Zn application at Faridkot were beneficial for higher yield realization.
  • Although two manual weedings at critical stages of the crop (where crop-weed competition is maximum) combined with hoeing proved to be effective at Lam (Guntur) and Rahuri, yet trifloxysulfuron Na (Envoke) 75 WG @ 10 g/ha at Rahuri and Galaxy (ready mix of clomazone 15 % + pendimethalin 30 %) @ 2 or 2.5 l/ha at Coimbatore and Srivilliputtur were found to be as efficient as manual weeding.
  • At Ganganagar, 3 years research on cotton-wheat rotation conclusively proved the superiority of conventional irrigation systems over Furrow irrigated raised bed (FIRB) with weed control made by hand weeding or herbicide. However, on equivalent water use basis, additional 0.30 & 0.37 ha of cotton & wheat area respectively could be irrigated following FIRB practice.
  • Incorporation of wheat residues was found to be superior over removal of these at Hisar and crop response to nitrogen was up to 100 kg/ha (125 %-RDN) in both cotton & wheat. Higher NPK uptake was recorded in incorporation followed by burning and removal of wheat residues.
  • In the case of cotton as a relay crop in onion, end of March (30th March) is the optimum time of planting at Rahuri. When cotton was planted only after harvest of onion produced higher seed cotton yield than that of planting sole cotton and relay cropping of cotton in onion.
  • Application of cotton crop residues @ 2.5 t/ha + Vermicompost @ 1.25 t/ha with 100% RDF yielded maximum kapas yield of 14.3 q/ha at Siruguppa.
  • The highest seed cotton yield was obtained with sole cotton when compared to intercropping of oilseeds with cotton at Siruguppa. However, the significantly highest total yield of 16.2 q/ha was recorded under cotton + sesamum (3:1).
  • Split application of N & K recorded significantly higher SCY over that of NPK at Siruguppa. In addition, splitting the fertilizers into 3 splits i.e., @ 25 % at sowing, 50 % at 30 DAS and 25 % at 60 DAS was found to be beneficial for cotton.
  • Early sowing of cotton during 2nd fortnight of June by supplementary irrigation from bore well water is essential for realization of significantly highest yield (compared to the rest of the methods of sowing) at Siruguppa.


Physiological experiments were conducted to identify suitable cotton genotypes with drought tolerance and salinity stress tolerance besides physiological parameters relevant to growth and productivity attributes.

Research Highlights:

  • Twenty four entries/genotypes of G. hirsutum were evaluated under stress (un-irrigated) and normal (irrigated) condition. Plant height biomass, number of bolls and yield per plant was significantly reduced under stress. Root length, root weight and boll weight did not show significant reduction in the same.
  • Twelve genotypes were monitored at different growth stage for physiological parameters and yield. The Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Dry Matter Index (DMI) increased and Net Assimilation Rate (NAR), Relative Growth Rate (RGR) and Leaf Area Ratio (LAR) decreased with advancement of crop growth. Among twelve osmoprotectants tried, application of KNO3 (0.50 %) significantly increased biomass, number of bolls, yield per plant and seed cotton yield over the control.
  • Screening of forty eight cotton genotypes under rainfed condition with intervening dry spell periods led to identification of select genotypes with better drought tolerant characteristics like higher RWC and better chlorophyll stability index besides higher yielding ability to the tune of 1500 – 1900 kg/ha.
  • Various stress indices have been worked out for effective screening of cotton genotypes under moisture stress conditions. Significant reduction in plant height, number of bolls, total dry matter, leaf area and seed cotton yield was noticed among cotton genotypes subjected to moisture stress. The mean seed cotton yield of different genotypes under irrigated conditions was 2300 kg/ha, while around 400 – 500 kg/ha only could be realized under rainfed conditions.


Biochemical investigations have been carried out to elucidate the mechanisms of resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, besides evaluation of metabolic status during crop phenophases

Research Highlights:

  • Twelve varieties of cotton genotypes were grown under field conditions and the leaf samples and young bolls were analysed for total phenol, tannin, gossypol, orthodihydroxy, phenol, reducing sugars, total sugars and protein content.
  • The numbers of glands/ were counted and the maximum was observed in G.Cot.Hy-102 (265). The number of glands on leaves were positively correlated with phenol (+0.42) protein (+0.47), tannin content (+0.02) and gossypol content (+0.36).
  • Maximum yield was obtained from desi hybrid G.Cot.DH-7 and G.Cot.DH-9 and these varieties contained high phenols, gossypol and sugars in young bolls.
  • Drought tolerant varieties LH 1968 and GSHV-97/612 contained higher amount of sugar, proline and free amino acids and they also recorded higher yield, dry matter stability index as compared to other varieties under drought condition.
  • Seeds of G.hirsutum/G.herbaceum/hybrids were analysed for oil and protein content and the maximum oil content (23.39 %) and protein content (27.81 %) were obtained from the new hybrid GSHH-1877 as compared to 17–20 % and 23 - 25%, respectively in check hybrids like GSHH-2106, GSHH-1808 and other G.hirsutum genotypes.
  • RAPD analysis revealed hybridity confirmation and introgression of genomic regions from wild male parents in hybrids for generation of materials with better bollworm tolerance
  • Application of Kamadhenu Kitniyantrak (a natural product - insect repellant) was found to enhance NRase activity and peroxidase activity (10 – 15%) in leaves of cotton germplasm lines.
  • Hybrids LK 18XTK 36 and Cms LRA 5166 X AK 2 exhibited superiority with higher nitrate reductase activity and protein content during vegetative and boll development periods.
  • Induced systemic resistance by way of enhanced peroxidase and superoxide dismutase enzyme activity was seen due to application of Pseudomonas fluorescens strain Pf1 when tested against Ramularia areola.
  • Metabolic status of cotton genotypes was monitored during crop phenophase to screen genotypes with better physiological and biochemical status for deployment in breeding programme.


Research Highlights:

  • During 2003-04, insect pest problem in all the cotton growing regions was low due to prolonged dry weather and drought.
  • Among the bollworms the American bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera was less, where as spotted and pink bollworms were moderate to high.
  • There was a moderate infestation of Jassid in central and south zones.
  • Many cultures resistant to Jassid were identified.
  • Among the natural enemies the coccinellids and spiders played major role in reducing the pest problem in all the zones.
  • The insecticide BSN 2060 (Oberon) and clothianidin were found effective in reducing the whitefly population.
  • Imidacloprid 35 SC (Confidor) clothianidin 50 WDG recorded less aphid and Jassid in all the centres.
  • Emamectin benzoate and KN 128 were effective against H.armigera only in all the zones.
  • Higher pink bollworm was recorded in Emamectin benzoate, KN 128 and spinosad in south zone.
  • In all the centres IPM modules was effective in reducing the pest infestation and in increasing the seed cotton yield. IPM fields recorded more natural enemies and showed high cost benefit ratio.

The important IPM package adopted is given below.

• Seed treatment with imidacloprid or thiamethoxam.
• Mechanical control of shoot borer.
• Raising castor, okra and marigold as trap crop.
• Random planting of sorghum and maize.
• Release of egg parasitoid Trichogramma chilonis.
• Erection of bird perches.
• Spraying neem formulation particularly neem seed kernel extract.
• Monitoring moths activity by erecting pheromone traps.
• Spraying Helicoverpa armigera NPV and Spodoptera litura NPV.
• Topping of terminal shoots when the crop is 90-100 day old.
• Hand collection of egg masses and larvae.
• Need based application of insecticides based on economic threshold level.



  • CLCuV disease incidence varied from traces to 90 per cent in the North zone states.
  • CLCuV caused a loss of 59.93 to 79.81 per cent in seed cotton yield.
  • Root rot incidence varied from 15 to 30 per cent at Hisar and 2.3 to 11.5 per cent at Sirsa.
  • Alternaria leaf spot (maximum 35.00 per cent) and bacterial leaf blight (maximum 51.9 per cent) were the major diseases in the central zone.
  • In the Southern zone 30.53 per cent of Alternaria leaf spot and 18.05 per cent of grey mildew observed in Karnataka.
  • Seed treatment with Vitavax 200 WP @ 3.0 g/kg seed was highly effective against root rot at Sirsa.
  • Seed treatment @ 10 g/kg seed and soil application @ 2.5 kg/ha of Pseudomonas fluorescens strain Pf1 was effective against leaf curl virus disease at Sriganganagar.
  • Carbendazim @ 0.1 per cent was highly effective against grey mildew at Nanded and Myrothecium leaf spot at Khandwa.
  • Propiconazole @ 0.1 per cent was effective against Alternaria leaf spot at Rahuri.

During the year 2003-04, the following investigations have been carried out.

  • a. Observations on the occurrence of diseases by all centres (in the farmer’s fields and research farms).
    b. Disease progress in relation to weather factors – To find out the correlation between the weather parameters and disease development (all centres).
  • Screening of breeding lines for disease reaction
    All lines in various breeding trials have been screened separately for their reaction under maximum disease pressure in twelve selected centres.
  • Management of diseases
    a. Management of root rot: Two formulations of fungicide Vitavax (200 FF and WP) were tested against root rot. The bioagent Trichoderma viride as seed treatment as well as soil application and Carbendazim (0.1%) were also included as treatment for comparison.
    b. Biological control: The efficacy of the talc powder formulations of Pseudomonas fluorescens strains Pf1 and CHAO as seed treatment, foliar application and soil application were tested against foliar diseases.
  • Crop loss estimation: This experiment was carried out in selected centres to assess the loss in seed cotton yield due to the following diseases.
    a) Leaf Curl Virus Disease
    b) Grey mildew
    c) Alternaria leaf spot