The CSIRO and Cotton Seed Distributors have announced a five-year, $35 million extension to their existing agreement to fund projects through the Cotton Breeding Australia join venture, which has been running since 2007.


The venture will continue to fund research into providing long-term benefits for the Australian cotton industry; including improving quality; providing higher yields; increasing drought and heat tolerance; water use efficiency and pest and disease resistance.


CSIRO Division of Plant Industry's Chief, Dr Jeremy Burdon, said the new agreement is building on the progress of the valuable research, which is already delivering results to cotton growers.


“The extension of the agreement is proof of the huge benefits Cotton Breeding Australia’s research is having for the cotton industry. A clear example is the future development of cotton varieties with elevated resistance to mites and whitefly, which will reduce costs and reliance on pesticides,“ Dr Burdon said.


“We have also developed molecular markers for resistance to diseases such as Cotton Bunchy Top virus, which will allow us to develop resistant varieties, and we are similarly researching resistance to Black Root Rot and Alternaria fungi.


”The Cotton Breeding Australia joint venture is a remarkable collaboration between breeders, biotechnology research, pathology and post-harvest processing that is ensuring the best performance in our new varieties,” Dr Burdon said.


The agreement will extend the collaboration from iuts current termination date of 2017 to 2022.