Genetically modified cotton (GMC) was compared with two conventional cultivars, using data from trials and commercial farms. Objectives were to highlight disparate agronomic and technological performance parameters and identify perspectives to Burkina Faso comeback to GMC. Results showed that compared materials are similar for most agronomic characteristics, except fiber percent. As this important parameter is concerned, GMC outperformed conventional cultivars in trials (+1.2 to +2.2%) and some commercial fields by +0.3, +0.5, +0.6 and +1% at Banfora, Koudougou, Houndé and Dédougou, respectively. For fiber quality, they did not show significant difference in maturity, micronaire, uniformity index, elongation, short fiber index, reflectance and yellowness. For two important parameters in cotton fiber marketing, Upper Half Mean Length and Strength, GMC was highly handicapped by -1.43 to -2.09 mm and -19.70 to -40.67 kN m Kg-1 compared to conventional cultivars, in commercial production. In trials, differences averaged -1.75 mm and -32.34 kN m Kg-1. Differences between compared materials are genetic, due to failure in recovering important characteristics after the transgenic conversion. Local GMC cultivars could be an asset if more perfectly achieved, on site selected and pre-release evaluated, to take into account local production particularities.
Key words: Genetic conversion, Bt cotton, agronomic characteritics, fiber properties, Burkina Faso.
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