2013 Annual Report
ICARDA is managing funds directed towards Pakistani institutes and has first line of oversight of productivity and expenditures of Pakistani institutes working on the U.S.A./Pakistani Cotton Enhancement Program that deals with Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) in Pakistan. Potential expenditures and productivity are then passed onto the ARS collaborator to assure their conformance to U.S.A. regulations.
Listing of Pakistani partner institutes with a short responsibility descriptor is provided: Virus screening - National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad; Punjab University, Lahore. Location for holding and multiplying germplasm in Pakistan for seed sent from U.S.A. germplasm collection - Central Cotton Research Institute Sakrand, Sakrand. Testing of U.S.A. germplasm collection for CLCuV resistance - Cotton Research Station, Vehari; NIBGE; Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan. Small farmers agronomic practices to reduce CLCuV pressure - National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Islamabad; Punjab Extension Service. Transgenic approaches for resistance - NIBGE; Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, Lahore.
During the past year, a comprehensive international research program was utilized to combat Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) by developing resistant cotton lines and studying the virus itself. ICARDA oversaw agreements for country partners. 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 by four partner institutes. 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, material was sent to four partner institutes. 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 for to see if new forms of the virus are evolving. DNA samples from the viral samples were sent to the USA for DNA analysis at the ARS partner institute.
Screening of germplasm from the USDA collections for CLCuV uncovered several accessions that showed no or limited signs of infection. Pakistani partners attempted to make crosses with this material; however, some lines were photoperiod sensitive and never flowered under Pakistani growing conditions. Accessions with significant levels of resistance are being screened in the 2013 growing season in multiple locations within Pakistan.
Management of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) disease through Integrated Pest Management(IPM)techniques by adopting Farmers Field School (FFS) approach, NARC, Islamabad was established. The main objective of the component is to validate and transfer best practices for CLCuV management of cotton crop. Other objectives include developing the capacity of key stakeholders in managing CLCuV disease in cotton growing areas of Pakistan; to transfer CLCuV management practices through adopting FFS approach as Participatory Learning Groups (PLGs) and to draw conclusions for the institutionalization of CLCuV management protocols for research, extension and other development agencies etc. Twenty seven (27) participants completed the FFS facilitator training and they belonged to five project districts of Ghotki (10), Bahawalpur (8), Vehari (2), Khanewal (5) and Multan (2). Planning Meetings with the FFS Facilitators belonging to all five (5) project districts were carried out. A total of 60 FFS/(PLGs) were organized in all five districts including Ghotki (21), Bahawalpur (17), Vehari (5), Khanewal (13) and Multan (4). In this way a total of fifty (50) farmers in each village and 3000 farmers in sixty (60) villages of five (5) districts underwent training process through FFS/ PLGs approach during the season.