Genetically modified cotton

Genetically modified cotton

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Credit: BILL BARKSDALE/AGSTOCKUSA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Genetically modified cotton. Harvest-ready crop of genetically modified (GM) upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). This transgenic cotton (variety NuCOTN 33B, Bt) has been genetically engineered to express an insecticidal protein toxin (Cryl Ac) that is usually produced by a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis. The toxin makes the cotton more resistant to pests such as bollworms and tobacco budworm. The aim of such technology is to increase cotton yield while decreasing the use of chemical pesticides. Photographed in Mississippi, USA, where GM cotton was introduced in 1996.

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