Soil & Crop Sciences
Non Technical Summary
Changes in cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., spinning technology, competition from manmade fibers, and globalization of cotton production and processing have increased demand for improved cotton fiber quality. The desired staple, or fiber length, for U.S. cotton traditionally has been 27.0 mm (34 staple = 34/32 of an inch), which is lower than the international base staple length of 27.8 mm (Braden and Smith, 2004). Along with the increased international base for staple length, processors desire greater strength, decreased short fiber content, more uniform fiber length distributions, and narrower micronaire range to supply ever increasing processing speeds and rigor. With increasing export of U.S. cotton and advances in spinning technology, improvement of fiber quality is essential for competitiveness of upland cotton produced in the United States. No commercial cultivars currently grown possess the combination of agronomic, fiber quality, and stress resistance traits preferred in an ideal cultivar and it is unlikely that such a cultivar ever will be developed, especially considering the dynamic nature of cotton production technology and end-use requirements. Nevertheless, public research agencies bear the responsibility for developing superior germplasm with new and unusual combinations of fiber properties, morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics that will enhance the stability and profitability of cotton production and manufacturing. This project aims to develop better parental stocks of upland cotton that can be used to develop new and improved varieties that are more competitive with man made fibers for the development of better clothing and other textiles. We will develop and make available germplasm lines that have exceptional fiber quality that exceeds that thought possible only a decade ago.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
1. Develop germplasm with improved and unique combinations of fiber and spinning properties for greater end-use potential.2. Characterize yield and fiber components and determine how they can be defined, measured, and manipulated in the breeding process.3. Establish cotton genotypes with improved lint and seed production.4. Develop more drought and heat tolerant germplasm and cultivars.5. Develop advanced germplasm with resistance to economically important biotic stresses, especially seedling diseases.
The existing cotton improvement program, operating under provisions of project H-6223, provided a wide array of germplasm for use in a continuing program. Germplasm stocks are available in a local collection of materials obtained directly from other breeders in the U.S. and foreign countries as well as a wealth of tested advanced germplasm produced within project H-6223. Collaboration with the Lab Leader and Curator of the USDA Cotton Working Collection housed at College Station creates immediate access to that collection of modern, obsolete, and feral G. hirsutum collected from around the world. Current (2016) collaborations included chairing one PhD graduate student working with a collection of upland cotton cultivars developed in the U.S. during the past 100 years using genomics to identify latent alleles for fiber length and strength and two graduate students seeking to utilize marker selection for fiber length and strength. The program will continue to collaborate with other breeders in the development and evaluation of new germplasm and with molecular colleagues in the development of gene based cotton breeding Although it is impractical to outline the specific breeding methods to be utilized in the project, sound genetic principles will be employed in adapting fundamental breeding approaches to various problem areas. The primary breeding approach will involve hybridization followed by adaptations of pedigree and backcross population systems. Recurrent selection procedures have been useful in special cases to maximize genetic recombination and to concentrate favorable genetic factors in gene pools for selection. As apparent superior strains are identified, they will be included in performance trials at one to multiple locations to assess their ranges of adaptation. Appropriate greenhouse, laboratory, cage, and field techniques will be employed for bioassay and chemical assay of host plant resistance germplasm and for other special studies. Collaborative efforts with the Texas Tech University Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute and Cotton Incorporated will insure a strong fiber quality component and direction. Strong ties with molecular biologists will provide unique molecular tools for gene manipulation at the cellular level. This new and exciting technology will make a significant impact on this cotton breeding program. Appropriate experimental designs and analyses will be employed to the maximum, practical extent in the performance testing of breeding materials and in planning and prosecution of other research studies.