Core Cotton Breeding Program IV / Quality Assurance IV / Disease Nurseries IV

25 November, 2020

Project Leader: Warwick Stiller

Key Researchers: Warwick Stiller, Shiming Liu, Warren Conaty, Heidi Clements, Greg Constable, Danny Llewellyn (QA)
Brief Summary of Project Objectives: The aim of this long-term project is to develop improved cotton varieties adapted to Australian growing conditions and producing fibre suitable for export markets.

Executive Summary

This project has delivered significant industry outcomes in the form of new varieties and trait packages that have completely displaced previous varieties and traits. 
Three main varieties containing Bollgard 3/RRF (Sicot 714B3F, Sicot 746B3F and Sicot 748B3F) make up the majority of the market. While not widely grown, Sicot 754B3F has proved itself with a premium fibre package that has enabled some growers and merchants to achieve significant price premiums. 
Two varieties containing Roundup Ready Flex were released - Sicot 711RRF which replaced Sicot 71RRF and Sicot 812RRF which has better staple specifically for the dryland industry. 
Two new conventional lines were also released, Sicot 620 and Siokra 250. These are high performing lines that address the concerns of some growers that we are not providing choice and locking them in to having to grow varieties with GM traits. 
One of the most exciting developments will be the limited release of a new variety for the southern regions, Sicot 606B3F in 2020. While it has no improvement in fibre length and strength, it does have a better micronaire than the current full season varieties when grown in the southern regions and  it has performed particularly well from a yield, maturity and growth habit perspective both in CSIRO experiments and CSD trials over the last two seasons. 
Significant Achievements for the project over the last year include

  • A broad range of breeding lines containing B3F with potential for improved performance (particularly CBT resistance) has been developed to be used as parental material for future development of lines containing Bollgard 3/XtendFlex (B3XF). 
  • Establishment of trials to evaluate superior conventional germplasm across all regions with improvements in yield, fibre quality and disease resistance. 
  • Development of background breeding material with improved Verticillium and Fusarium resistance and identification of traits to potentially improve nutrient use efficiency. 
  • Handover to CSD of 54 new lines containing the B3XF trait package and 13 new lines containing the XtendFlex (XF) trait package.
  • Establishment of multi-site field trials of families containing the B3XF trait package.
  • Establishment of progeny row and single plant selection trials of new families containing B3XF; commenced introgression of new families.
  • Commenced preliminary introgression of Lygus trait (currently Regulated by the OGTR).