2012 Annual Report
During the past year, a comprehensive international research program was implemented to combat Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) by developing resistant cotton lines and studying the virus itself. The CLCuV strain found in Pakistan developed within the country and is the most virulent form known in the world. Germplasm from the USDA ARS Cotton Germplasm Collection is continuously being propagated and sent to Pakistan for screening to see if it carries any resistance. In 2011 over 500 accessions of wild relatives of cultivated cotton were sent to Pakistan and screened. All were resistant to the virus. The result is surprising and may indicate that the diploid wild relatives to be a non-host for the virus versus carrying resistance. The overall goal here is to identify novel forms of resistance, genetically map the resistance to identify a DNA marker associated with resistance, and then integrate the resistant trait into cultivated cotton. If the diploid species are non-host it may mean a new approach for solving the problem could be attempted. In 2012, approximately 1,400 cotton accessions were sent to Pakistan for screening. This included upland cotton, additional wild species and introgression lines between upland cotton and a diploid. Sentential plots and random selections were established in Pakistan to trap new isolates of the virus for characterization and to establish protocols to see if new forms of the virus are evolving. DNA samples from the viral samples were sent to the USA for DNA analysis.
Research activities during this reporting period were monitored by the ADODR through email communications with the cooperator and through in-person discussions with the cooperator in Washington D.C. and U.S.A. Embassy in Pakistan, phone conversations, and weekly conference calls.