Saturday, Jun 14, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The kits, developed by scientists at the ICAR's Nagpur-based Central Institute for Cotton Research, work by quantifying the level of Bt gene, called Cry 1 A (c), expressed in the transgenic crop.
According to an ICAR press release, while one kit called `Cry -1 Ac Bt Quant' facilitates a precise quantification of the gene expressed in the plants within four hours, the second called `Cry 1 Ac Bt-detect' detects the presence of the Bt toxin in seeds or plant tissue in about two to three hours. The third, called `Cry 1 Ac Bt Express', which is in a dip-stick format, on the other hand, provides for a quick detection of the toxin in about 10 minutes.
In a related development, the scientists at the Institute have also developed a method, whereby small farmers could produce their own requirements of Bt toxin for spraying as part of integrated pest management.
A farmer would have to make an investment of Rs. 600 and then spend at the rate of Rs. 160 per hectare whenever they need to produce the toxin.
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