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CSIRO team modifies cotton to make it naturally coloured

03
Jul '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
A team of researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have genetically modified cotton to make it naturally coloured with the hope that it will remove the need for chemical dyes, harmful to the environment. They also aim to create a stretchy, wrinkle-free cotton to replace synthetic fabrics.

Colleen MacMillan heads the team which has cracked cotton's molecular colour code, adding genes to make the plants produce a colour, according to Australian media reports.

They contain plant tissue, which within days grows into cotton plants with a dazzling array of colours.

"We've seen some really beautiful bright yellows, sort of golden-orangey colours, through to some really deep purple," fellow scientist Filomena Pettolino was quoted as saying.

It will be several months before the colourful plant tissue they have created grows into flowering cotton plants; only then will the scientists be absolutely certain of their success.

Coloured cotton genes, inserted into green tobacco plants, have shown up as coloured splotches on the leaves, which is a positive sign.

The team is also working on a longer-term project to creat wrinkle-free cotton that doesn't require ironing.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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