Dr. Zahoor Ahmad, First Chairman of the Asian Cotton R & D Network Died Due to COVID-19

Dr. Zahoor Ahmad suffered from COVID-19 for over two weeks and died in a hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan on April 20, 2021. Dr. Ahmad was the founding Chairman of the Asian Cotton Research & Development Network, established in June/July 1999.  Dr. Ahmad was Director of the Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan, Pakistan when he hosted a Regional Consultation on Insecticide Resistance Management in Cotton. The Consultation resulted in the formation of the Network, one of the strongest among the four Networks supported by the ICAC.

Dr. Ahmad was an entomologist by training. He received his Ph.D. from the Washington State University in the early 1970s and started his career in pest control on cotton at the Central Cotton Research Institute, Multan, Pakistan.  He became Director of the Institute in 1979 where he served for almost 30 years. Being aware of the consequences of the insecticide use, Dr. Ahmad was one of the first to promote IPM in Pakistan. He had a high reputation as a person of new ideas and worked hardly on the containment of insecticide use in Pakistan. The Multan Institute was comparatively a new institute when he took over in the late 1970s but he led the institute to one of the most prestigious mono crop multidisciplinary research center in the country and abroad. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hired him to implement a pest control project in Myanmar in 1981, later the FAO moved him to Africa. He worked for the FAO for about five years. Dr. Ahmad attended many meetings of the ICAC.

After retirement he kept him busy and got involved in the seed industry, particularly planting seed of cotton. He was still working as General Manager of a seed company based in Lahore. GOD bless his soul.

Review of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense mechanisms in Gossypium hirsutum L. in response to extreme abiotic conditions

[Abstract] Oxidative stress occurs when crop plants are exposed to extreme abiotic conditions that lead to the excessive production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Those extreme abiotic conditions or stresses include drought, high temperature, heavy metals, salinity, and ultraviolet radiation, and they cause yield and quality losses in crops. ROS are highly reactive species found in nature that can attack plant organelles, metabolites, and molecules by interrupting various metabolic pathways until cell death occurs. Plants have evolved defense mechanisms for the production of antioxidants to detoxify the ROS and to protect the plant against oxidative damage. Modern researches in crop plants revealed that low levels of ROS act as a signal which induces tolerance to environmental extremes by altering the expression of defensive genes. In this review, we summarized the processes involved in ROS production in response to several types of abiotic stress in cotton plants. Furthermore, we discussed the achievements in the understanding and improving oxidative stress tolerance in cotton in recent years. Researches related to plant oxidative stresses have shown excellent potential for the development of stress-tolerant crops.

[Title]Review of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense mechanisms in Gossypium hirsutum L. in response to extreme abiotic conditions

[Authors]QAMER Zainab, CHAUDHARY Muhammad Tanees, DU Xiongming, HINZE Lori & AZHAR Muhammad Tehseen

Journal of Cotton Research 2021, 48

https://doi.org/10.1186/s42397-021-00086-4

Correlation analysis of stem hardness traits with fiber and yield-related traits in core collections of Gossypium hirsutum

[BackgroundStem hardness is one of the major influencing factors for plant architecture in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Evaluating hardness phenotypic traits is very important for the selection of elite lines for resistance to lodging in Gossypium hirsutum L. Cotton breeders are interested in using diverse genotypes to enhance fiber quality and high-yield. Few pieces of research for hardness and its relationship with fiber quality and yield were found. This study was designed to find the relationship of stem hardness traits with fiber quality and yield contributing traits of upland cotton.

[Results] Experiments were carried out to measure the bending, acupuncture, and compression properties of the stem from a collection of upland cotton genotypes, comprising 237 accessions. The results showed that the genotypic difference in stem hardness was highly significant among the genotypes, and the stem hardness traits (BL, BU, AL, AU, CL, and CU) have a positive association with fiber quality traits and yield-related traits. Statistical analyses of the results showed that in descriptive statistics result bending (BL, BU) has a maximum coefficient of variance, but fiber length and fiber strength have less coefficient of variance among the genotypes. Principal component analysis (PCA) trimmed quantitative characters into nine principal components. The first nine principal components (PC) with Eigenvalues > 1 explained 86% of the variation among 237 accessions of cotton. Both 2017 and 2018, PCA results indicated that BL, BU, FL, FE, and LI contributed to their variability in PC1, and BU, AU, CU, FD, LP, and FWPB have shown their variability in PC2.

[Conclusion] We describe here the systematic study of the mechanism involved in the regulation of enhancing fiber quality and yield by stem bending strength, acupuncture, and compression properties of G. hirsutum.

[Title] Correlation analysis of stem hardness traits with fiber and yield-related traits in core collections of Gossypium hirsutum

[Authors] RAZA Irum, HU Daowu, AHMAD Adeel, LI Hongge, HE Shoupu, NAZIR Mian Faisal, WANG Xiaoyang, JIA Yinhua, PAN Zhaoe, ZHANG Peng, YASIR Muhammad, IQBAL Muhammad Shahid, GENG Xiaoli, WANG Liru, PANG Baoyin and DU Xiongming

Journal of Cotton Research 2021, 48

https://doi.org/10.1186/s42397-021-00082-8