UAS to grow Bt brinjal

Six varieties have been developed


Speaking to reporters here on Friday, he said the UAS is  working on Manjari Gota grown in south Maharashtra and north Karnataka, Udupi Gulla grown in coastal Karnataka, Malapur local popular genotype of north Karnatka, Kudachi local grown in Kudachi belt, Rabkavi local grown in Rabkavi belt and GO-112 popular genotype in Goa.

He said brinjal is prone to pest attack and diseases, the most serious and destructive of which is the Fruit and Shoot Borer (FSB). After conducting thorough research on pest attack, the FSB-resistant or Bt brinjal was developed using transformation process similar to the one used in the development of Bt cotton. Bt brinjal incorporates the cry1Ac gene expressing insecticidal protein to confer resistance against FSB, he explained.

Taken together, the performance of all the six Bt brinjal varieties and their non-Bt types, the stability of the technology to combat the pest pressure all through the crop period was evident. Vijaykumar claimed a study has revealed that consumption of Bt brinjal would not have any adverse effect on human beings. The acidic pH of human stomach and complete absence of receptor for cry1Ac protein makes it safe to consume unlike the target insect pest. Further, the process of culinary preparation (30 sec to 1 minute) boiling of brinjal ensures additional safety by disintegrating the cry1Ac protein (the structural integrity of the protein is broken down).

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