LAHORE – Agriculture Minister Malik Ahmad Ali has congratulated scientists of Centre for Excellence Molecular Biology (CEMB) Punjab University for developing Miracle CLCV Resistant Cotton Plant. According to details, Cotton Leaf Curl Virus damages cotton production every year. The damage to cotton production due to CLCV is estimated three million bales worth of approximately Rs250 to Rs300 billion every year. The Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB) started a project in collaboration with CEMB and Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAS) in Punjab University in 2009 to develop GMO that can effectively resist the virus growth in cotton plant with a cost of Rs29 million. The GMO construct against the virus was built in Toronto University. It was incorporated in the best cotton varieties of Punjab in collaboration with IAS and CEMB. The methodology used to build the construct is called RNA technique. The scientists at CEMB briefed the minister that international and national collaboration developed through PARB played a critical role in the success of this project. He further said that couples of confirmatory tests are needed before the seed of the GMO can be given to the farmers. These research stages can be completed within 1-2 years. The Minister for Agriculture appreciated Dr Mubarak Ali and the scientists of CEMB Dr Idrees Ahmad Nasir and Dr Saleem Haider, on successful initiation of this project to overcome worst disease of cotton.