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Guidelines for Preparing Abstracts


Because abstracts are often reprinted in secondary abstracting services (Chemical Abstracts, Biosis, or Biological Abstracts), they need to be concisely written and contain sufficient detail of critical information. The reader should be able to ascertain quickly the value of the manuscript. Use the following checklist to prepare your abstract:

  • the subject matter is identified
  • a rationale is included that states the purpose, or significance of the research
  • objectives are clearly stated
  • methods are briefly described
  • type of experiment is clearly stated (e.g., greenhouse, field, laboratory)
  • organisms are identified with scientific names and the full names of chemicals are provided
  • results are succinctly stated
  • any conclusions or recommendations are outlined
  • references, tables, and figures are not cited
  • 200 to 250 words in length for articles
  • 100 to 150 words in length for notes
  • single paragraph
  • use bold type

A published abstract is reproduced here with the appropriate sections labeled. Study it for overall construction of the abstract and the contents of each section. [J. Cotton Sci. 4:232-236 (2000)]

Root-Knot Nematode Reproduction and Root Galling Severity on Related Conventional and Transgenic Cotton Cultivars
Patrick D. Colyer, Terrence L. Kirkpatrick, W. David Caldwell, and Philip R. Vernon



The root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita Kofoid & White), a widespread and serious pest of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) throughout the Cotton Belt, is managed in many areas in part through cultivar resistance. Recently, commercial cotton cultivars modified with genes for resistance to the tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens F.), to glyphosate herbicide (e.g., Roundup, Monsanto, St. Louis, MO), or in some cases to both the budworm and the herbicide have been released.


The objective of this study was to compare the root-knot nematode resistance or susceptibility of several transgenic cotton cultivars with that of their unmodified parent cultivars.


The cultivars were evaluated in a field naturally infested with the root-knot nematode and in a growth room in pots infested with the nematode.


A dramatic increase in root-knot nematode susceptibility was seen in the transgenic cultivar, Paymaster 1560 BG, compared with its nontransgenic parent, Paymaster 1560. Although only a limited number of cultivars were studied, the data demonstrate that differences in susceptibility to the root-knot nematode exist between some transgenic cultivars and their nontransgenic parents.


These data indicate the importance of screening transgenic cultivars for resistance to pests other than the particular pest species targeted by the genetic modification before the transgenic cultivars are recommended for planting.