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Evaluation of organophosphate insecticides on performance of transgenic and conventional cotton

by Hundley, Christopher Alan

Abstract (Summary)
Genetically modified cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) acreage has increased dramatically over the last six years. Reports of variable results in fiber quality and yield have arisen in these cultivars. Some changes in production practices have occurred coincident with the introduction of transgenic technology, such as reduced use of broad-spectrum insecticides, including organophosphates (OP) that could potentially influence the growth and yield of cotton. One factor that might affect these parameters is the difference in the amount of foliarly-applied phosphorus (P) between an OP and non-phosphate (NP) insecticide regime. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate selected growth characteristics, yield, and fiber quality of genetically modified and conventional cotton as influenced by OP and foliar phosphorus (FP) applications. A four replication strip-plot experimental design was utilized with cultivar serving as the whole plot and insecticide regime as the sub-plot. Three cultivars of the same recurrent parent (ST4892BR, ST4793R, and ST474) were planted in 2001 and 2002 under irrigated conditions in Burleson County, TX on a Weswood silty clay loam (fine-silty, mixed, thermic Fluventic Ustochrept). The insecticide regime consisted of NP, NP+FP, and OP treatments. The FP was applied at P2O5 weight equivalent to the P component in the concurrent OP application. ST4892BR had greater lint yield than ST4793R and ST474. The yield increase can be explained through plant mapping analysis which showed ST4892BR producing larger bolls and greater boll numbers. In addition, evaluation of fruiting distribution showed ST4892BR contained more lint on sympodial branches 6 through 10. The insecticide regime effect on lint yield resulted in higher yield (P=0.08) for the NP+FP regime. Examination of yield components revealed NP+FP increased second position bolls, predominantly at sympodial branches 6 through 10. Leaf tissue analysis revealed increased levels of P for the OP and NP+FP over that of the NP insecticide regime, which indicates a potential for plants to acquire P from OP insecticides. Furthermore, the considerable yield response to small amounts of FP is not clearly understood. While conclusive evidence exists regarding cultivar yield differences, this study does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that OP insecticides influence growth, yield, or fiber quality characteristics of these cotton cultivars.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Cothren, J. Tom; Hons, Frank; Searcy, Stephen

School:Texas A&M University

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:cotton insecticide organophosphate transgenic conventional foliar phosphorus plant growth regulator roundup ready bollgard leaf nutrient fertilizer

ISBN:

Date of Publication:05/01/2003

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