BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have made a breakthrough in controlling a major disease of cotton plants using gene technology, Xinhua has learned.
After eight years of research, scientists with the Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences found that gene interference technology can prevent the spread of a pathogenic fungus, the cause of verticillium dahliae wilt.
Verticillium dahliae is a vascular fungal pathogen responsible for devastating many crops.
Led by Guo Huishan, the research group has discovered how the fungus infects the cotton.
Based on their findings, scientists have cultivated a new strain of cotton with resistance to verticillium dahliae increased by 22.25 percent.
"Anti-pathogenic fungus cotton will help cotton farmers make more money," said Guo.
The findings have been published in the latest edition of "Nature Plants."