The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) recently approved confined field trials for Pink Bollworm-resistant GM cotton in Hisar, Haryana.


About ‘Pink Bollworm’

  • It is one of the most destructive pests of cotton.
  • Scientific name — Pectinophora gossypiella
  • Distribution — Originally native to India, it is now recorded in nearly all the cotton-growing countries of the world.
  • Description —
      • The adults are small moths about 3/8 inch long and are dark brown with markings on the fore wing.
      • The larval stage is the destructive and identifiable stage.
      • The larvae have distinctive pink bands and can reach a length of ½ inches right before they pupate.


Ecological threat

  • Pink bollworms are major pests of cotton.
  • Adults only last for 2 weeks, but females will lay 200 or more eggs.
  • Adults lay eggs on cotton bolls; once hatched, the larvae eat the seeds and damage the fibers of the cotton, reducing the yield and quality
  • When the larvae mature, they cut out the boll and drop to the ground and cocoon near the soil surface.
  • It has also been observed to attack hibiscus, okra, and hollyhock plants.