Terminology

Bt: Bt is the acronym for Bacillus Thuringensis. Bt occurs naturally in the soil and on plants. Variations of this bacterium produce a crystal protein that is toxic to specific groups of insects.

Bt Cotton: Genetically modified cotton with insecticide properties. Bt cotton carries a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis which is coding for the Bt toxin harmful for a range of insects belonging in part to the cotton pests.

Color: Most cotton fibre is white. Discolouring can occur due to exposure, insects and fungus attacks, poor storage etc (see 'naturally colored cotton' which is a intentionally breed to be 'colored').

Cry: Cry (acronym for crystal) proteins expressed in the commercialised Bt-cotton developed by Monsanto include cry 1Ac in Bollgard® and cry 1Ac plus cry 2Ab2 in Bollgard® II. The cry 1 class of proteins have selective toxicity to American bollworms, in certain conditions.

Cross pollination: The potential movement of transgenes from Bt-plants through pollen flow.

Desi: Indian Origin G.Herbaceum and G.Arboreum are known as Desi.

F1: The immediate offspring of a cross between two chosen parent lines.

F2: A crop grown from seeds from an F1 crop, ie hybrid crop. F2 lacks the vigour of F1.

G. Arboreum: Perennial shrub.Origin and distribution in India, with a distribution of less than 4 percent globally. 

G. Barbadense: Origin South America, Peru, and now mostly in South America. North Africa accounts for less than 8 percent. Shrubs are short live perennials.

G. Herbaceum: Distribution mostly in Africa, South and East Asia, notably India, with a world distribution of approximately 5 percent.

G. Hirsutum: Origin South America, Mexico, but now global distribution accounting for more than 85 percent. Mostly grown as an annual shrub and known as American upland.

Genetically Modified Cotton:  A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering technique. Three types of GMO cotton exists: Bt cotton, Roundup Ready and stacked cotton.

Gossypium: An important genus from Malvaceae comprising of several species. 4 species are very important from the point of commercial cultivation. G.Arboreum, G.Herbaceum, G.Hirsutum, and G.barbadense.

Hybrids: Term used to indicate the offspring from crossing of two individuals of dissimilar genetic constitution. The main goal of hybrid seed production is to produce seeds of better viability and higher vigour.

Hybrid Seed Production: Cotton hybrid seeds are produced by emasculation and dusting. In the hand pollination method, emasculation of the female parent is done in the evening and pollination of the same is done in the morning with the pollen from male parent. The resultant seed is hybrid.

Insect Resistance Mangenement: Managing the risk of pest populations exposed to Bt-crops continuously that have the potential to develop resistance to cry proteins.

Inter specific Hybrids: Hybrids from two different genus such as G.Hirsutum x G. Barbadense.

Intra specific Hybrids: Hybrids from same Genus such as Hirsutum x Hirsutum or G.Arboreum x G. Arboreum.

Malvaceae: Botanical family that cotton belongs to.       

New World Cottons: Comprising of G.Hirsutum and G. Barbadense. G .Hirustum is also known as American and G Barbadense is known as Egyptian.

Naturally Coloured Cotton: Cotton whose fibre is not white, and usually ranges from shades of brown to green. It is believed to have originated 5000 years ago in the Andes in South America. Some are still grown in pockets, especially in Peru. India has some.

Old World Cottons: Also known as Asiatic and comprising of G.Herbaceum and G.Arboreum.

Refugia: Planting refuge around Bt Cotton is mandatory as par Bt Protocol. Non Bt cotton is recommended as refugia in India. Helicoverpa Armigera, or the American bollworm,  has  other than cotton, a  number of alternative host crops like chickpea, pigeonpea, tomato, sunflower, maize and sorghum, which can also be planted. Refuge crops must be planted in close proximity to the cotton plant.

Roundup Ready: Genetically modified cotton with herbicide resistance. Carrying a gene of resistance from Agrobacterium to the glyphosate - molecule of Roundup (Monsanto branded herbicide). Roundup can be spread in the cotton field without killing the cotton plant.

Stacked Cotton: Genetically modified cotton which carries two transferred genes in its genome: the insect resistance (Bt) and the herbicide tolerant (Round Up)

Transgenic Cotton: Also known as GMOs or Bt Cotton. It is genetically engineered cotton that has inbuilt resistance to cotton pests, notably the American Bollworm, by introducing a toxic Bt gene.