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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Cotton Project Overall View
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Cotton boll Increasing the Value of Cotton Fiber By-Products: Cottonseed oil and protein represent economically important by-products of cotton fiber production. collaboration with Dr. Kent Chapman at the University of North Texas, an accurate, rapid, and inexpensive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method was developed to non-destructively quantify cottonseed oil and protein. The novel method offers a rapid screening tool that can be used to develop cotton germplasm with customized oil and protein profiles. Customized cottonseed oil and protein germplasm have potential to develop new cotton-based products..  
More Information:  Simultaneous Quantification of... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

Cotton picker in SC field A 70-Year Cotton Breeding Litmus Test: Over a three-year period, a large group of germplasm lines and cultivars were evaluated for agronomic and fiber quality performance across 14 southeastern US production environments. The results suggest that the unique breeding methods employed since 1935 were successful in minimizing the negative relationship between yield and fiber quality. Results also highlight specific Pee Dee germplasm lines that represent rare combinations of genes that break the negative linkage between yield and fiber quality. Current breeders can use this knowledge to develop future high yield/high fiber quality cultivars.
More Information:  Genetic Improvement of the... Interpretive Summary   Full PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF icon

  cover of Crop Science 59(4) 2010 Cotton's Global Genetic Resources: The long-term preservation of cotton’s genetic resources serves as a genetic insurance policy for sustainable cotton production systems. The 50 known species of cotton are preserved in genetic resource centers located in eight countries around the world. In collaboration with scientists from these eight countries, ARS scientists at Florence, SC, Mississippi State, MS, and College Station, TX, organized a project to document the status of the world’s cotton genetic resources. Cotton breeders and geneticists can use this information to identify genetic resources that will aid efforts to overcome current and future crop diseases and vulnerabilities, challenges associated with a changing climate, and the development of new and innovative end-use products.  
More Information: Status of the Global Cotton... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

  cotton plants in drought Discovering Cotton’s Water Channel Genes:  Aquaporin genes, also known as water channel genes, are known to control a large portion of water movement within plant cell membranes. In several plant species, aquaporin genes are used as potential molecular targets to improve plant water use efficiency. In this report, ARS Florence was the first to isolate and sequence the cotton aquaporin gene family. The study isolated 71 genes and determined how the expression of each gene in different plant tissues differed in response to drought conditions. Overall, the study provides a number of potential molecular targets for improving the water use efficiency of cotton.  
More Information: Identification of the Family... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

  Cotton field with open bolls Release of Cotton Germplasm Lines: In 2009, ARS Florence in collaboration with ARS College Station, TX, and ARS Stoneville, MS, co-released two sets of Upland cotton germplasm lines with high fiber quality and increased genetic diversity. The lines provide public and private breeders genetic resources for concurrent improvement of fiber quality and yield performance. The lines also serve as genetic resources for expanding the genetic base of cotton.   
More Information: Registration of CRB252... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon
Registration of Four Exotic Germplasm... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

   Close up of cotton boll differences Understanding Variability in Cotton Fiber Properties: Cotton mills require cotton fibers that are long, strong, mature, and uniform for optimal processing efficiency. This study demonstrated that water stress during the season can have a substantial impact on the uniformity of fiber properties among bolls in the canopy. It is also the first study to show how the fiber sugar and salt content (thought to affect yarn quality and fiber processing efficiency) are influenced by the environment during boll growth.
More Information:  A Comparison of Two Cotton Cultivars Differing... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

  Field with two varieties of legumes Summer Legumes for Bioenergy Production: Some legumes grown during late summer in the Southeast can provide a high biomass without any N fertilizer. We found that a tropical legume, sunn hemp, had high energy content and can provide high energy per hectare. These qualities make it a suitable bioenergy crop candidate for Southeast crop rotations. 
More Information: Utilization of Summer Legumes... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

Photo showing yellow summer legumes 

Summer Legumes in Cotton Rotations: Cotton rotations that include legumes can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer that needs to be applied to a crop. We evaluated growing sunnhemp and cowpeas the summer before cotton is planted. Sunnhemp is a tropical legume that grows fast and can provide a large amount of nitrogen. We found that growing summer legumes the season before a cotton crop might not be a good plan because of the potential for loss of the nitrogen from the soil during the winter. 
More Information: Cotton Production in Rotation... Interpretive Summary   Full PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF icon

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Last Modified: 11/7/2011
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