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Institute of Cotton Research (ICR, CAAS)

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The Institute of Cotton Research (ICR) of CAAS is China’s only state-level organization for professional cotton research. Focused on basic and applied research, ICR organizes and presides over major national cotton research projects addressing significant science and technology-related issues in cotton production. The institute coordinates international cooperation and exchanges about cotton research, cultivates high-level talent to advance cotton technology, and facilitates the transfer of new technologies to cotton farmland. In addition, ICR is responsible for the editing and publishing of the journals Cotton Science and China Cotton.


1  People and Facility
Currently, ICR has 430 employees, consisting of 222 technological personnel, 27 professors, 60 associate professors, 1 CAE academician, 1 state-level expert, 6 experts entitled to the governmental special allowance, 11 provincial and ministerial experts, 3 experts included to "Thousands of Talent Program". The whole institute covers land area of 319 hectares and working place occupies an area of 26,000 square meters. Moreover, the institute has established the national wild cotton nursery and the Hainan Comprehensive Experimental station for cotton breeding located in Sanya, as well as three ecological experimental stations for cotton breeding located in Aksu, Shihezi and Wangjiang.

2  Research Interests
The main research focuses for the institute are genetic breeding, germplasm resources, farming and cultivation, plant protection, molecular biology, agricultural product quality and safety, plant pathology, plant nutriology, pesticide science, and biosafety. ICR researchers work to characterize cotton at a molecular biological level, to make more efficient and pest-resistant cultivars.

3  Research Platforms
State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, National Engineering Laboratory, Cotton Seed and Fiber Quality Inspection and Testing Center of Ministry of Agriculture, Transgenic Plant Environment Safety Inspection and Testing Center of Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology and Genetic Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology of Henan Province, National Cotton Improvement Center, National Transgenetic Cotton Pilot Test Base established through reliance on the institute make it National Original Innovation Center of Cotton Technology, which creates a technological platform to organize nationwide cotton technology innovation work and provides technological support to overall monitoring of cotton quality and overall supervision of production.


4  Main Achievements
Since its establishment, the institute has presided over and participated in nearly 300 research projects and obtained 66 achievement awards above the provincial and ministerial levels, including 22 state-level award and 4 first awards. The institute has successively developed 83 cotton cultivars, with planting area covering 50% of that of the whole country. At the end of 1990, the institute took the lead in successfully developing new transgenic Bt cotton and addressed the problem of cotton bollworm damage. The institute has established the medium-term cotton germplasm resources and collected and stored over 8,300 accessions, which are widely used by public and private organizations in China, with usage rate over 50% of 400 cultivars of China. In the national wild cotton nursery in Sanya City, Hainan Province, about 600 wild cotton stocks are perennially maintained, which is related to more than 40 Gossypium species and accounting for over 80% of existing species in the cotton genus in the world. Such technologies as high-yield cultivation, balanced fertilization, comprehensive treatment of pest and disease and improved cotton variety breeding and popularization system developed by the institute has provided great support to high quality, high yield and stable production of cotton. The institute was thus awarded the title of "State-level New Cotton Variety and Technology Research and Promotion Center" by Ministry of Science and Technology.


Between 2008 and 2012, ICR released 20 new cotton cultivars and obtained 33 invention patents and 8 utility models, as well as 5 software copyrights. In addition, ICR has sequenced the cotton genome and conducted preliminary studies of the evolutionary mechanism and related functional genes based on the genome.

5  Achievement Transformation
For the purpose of accelerating transformation of technological achievements and improving cotton planting benefit of cotton growers, the institute has established 8 joint ventures to plant cotton in main cotton planting areas of China. The institute has popularized high-quality cotton varieties through such modes as joint venture operation, contracted breeding, combined production and sales and franchised operation and has developed into CNCGC Seeding Technology Co., Ltd., which is intended to become a large company with international influence and competence.


6  Institute Strategic Plan
The institute is committed to reaching leading level in cotton applied research in the world, reaching advanced level in basic research in the world and participating in international competition in industrial development.