2006 Annual Report
Cotton farming practices need to be improved because of increased competition from synthetic fibers and changes in textile manufacture. Currently available cotton cultivars and production systems do not provide sufficiently high fiber yields for consistent economically viable production nor do they possess the fiber properties needed by yarn and textile manufacturers to fully exploit new processing technology. In the southeastern USA, most of the cotton is produced on highly weathered soils that have low water-holding capacity and low fertility. There is a critical need for the development of systems that increase the productivity of these soils in an environment-friendly manner. Practices such as conservation tillage and cover crops are potential tools to achieve this. In addition, poultry production is a large industry in the region and litter from these facilities is a potential source of organic matter and nutrients for these soils. Improved technologies and strategies are needed for optimizing litter application in cotton production systems while avoiding excess nutrient losses to surrounding environments.
To address these problems, we are conducting research to determine factors that limit cotton yield and fiber quality in conservation systems and developing and evaluating germplasm for improved cropping practices for those systems. We are combining traditional, field oriented plant breeding methods with a laboratory based biotechnology approach focused on characterizing germplasm at the molecular level and to genetically map genes of interest in the cotton genome.
Low profitability threatens the entire cotton industry. Increased yields are needed by growers to offset rising production costs and low prices. Fiber properties such as fiber strength and length must be improved to fully exploit new, more efficient yarn and textile manufacturing technologies and meet the quality requirements for export. Improved cropping systems technology is needed to improve the yield, quality, and profitability of the crop. Higher yield and more environment-friendly growing practices will benefit all segments of the cotton industry and the consumer.
Year 2 (FY2006) 1. Summarize greenhouse studies on P availability. 2. Using information gained in the greenhouse trials, initiate field studies on phosphorous availability, phosphorous runoff potential, and soil chemical properties from soil-amended chicken litter and products derived from chicken litter in cotton production with conservation tillage. 3. Continue field evaluations of summer legume. 4. Continue field evaluations of cotton water use and within-canopy yield and fiber quality distribution. 5. Conduct Eastern Regional High Quality Cotton Variety Trial.
Year 3 (FY2007) 1. Conduct second year of phosphorous field experiments. 2, Finish field studies on the potential of using a summer legume as an N source for cotton. 3. Finish field evaluation of cotton water use relationships with within-canopy yield and fiber quality distribution. 4. Conduct Eastern Regional High Quality Cotton Variety Trial.
Year 4 (FY2008) 1. Conduct third year of phosphorous field experiments. 2. Manuscript prepared on summer legume research. 3. Manuscript prepared on how soil water availability affects cotton yield and quality distribution. 4. Conduct Eastern Regional High Quality Cotton Variety Trial.
Year 5 (FY2009) 1. Provide an assessment on crop and soil responses assessing the fertilizer value of products derived from poultry litter and the environmental fate of the P in these materials when applied to cotton. 2. Conduct Eastern Regional High Quality Cotton Variety Trial.
This report serves to document research conducted under a non-funded cooperative agreement (6657-21000-005-02N) between ARS and Delta and Pine Land Company. The conclusion of the growing season in 2005 served as the final year of a project with the objective to evaluate released Pee Dee germplasm and varieties and remaining Pee Dee breeding lines for agronomic performance and fiber quality in multi-location field trials. Eighty-two released germplasm lines and varieties are currently being evaluated through this project in replicated field trials as part of a larger study to evaluate the stability of Pee Dee line performance across several growing environments in the southeast US. Additionally, thirty advanced, non-released breeding lines are currently being evaluated through this project in replicated field trials for possible germplasm release. One outcome of this project will help to identify germplasm lines within the Pee Dee program that display stability for agronomic performance and fiber quality across southeast US growing environments. An additional outcome of this project will lead to the development and release of improved germplasm lines with enhanced agronomic performance and fiber quality characteristics.
2) Genetic Diversity of Pee Dee Germplasm
This report serves to document research conducted under a reimbursable cooperative agreement (6657-21000-005-03R) between ARS and Cotton Incorporated. The objective of this project is to evaluate the level of DNA based genetic diversity present in the Pee Dee germplasm. Eighty-two germplasm lines and varieties officially released over the life of the Pee Dee cotton genetics program are being used to represent the Pee Dee germplasm resource. An assessment of DNA based genetic diversity is being made by comparing the molecular marker profiles of each of the 82 lines. Genetic similarity will be calculated among lines based on marker banding patterns. A dendogram will also be constructed to visually represent the diversity present among the 82 lines. Results from this study will provide enhanced knowledge of the DNA based genetic diversity present within the Pee Dee germplasm resource. Knowledge of genetic diversity within the Pee Dee germplasm will allow cotton breeders to better select specific Pee Dee lines for use in crosses designed for specific breeding objectives.
3) Investigating Host Plant Tolerance to Abiotic Stress in Cotton
This report serves to document research that will be conducted under a non-funded cooperative agreement (6657-21000-005-04N) between ARS and Bayer Crop Science International. The objective of this cooperative research project will be to determine if host plant tolerance to hardlock is controlled by a genetic system consisting of one or a few genes or by a genetic system consisting of numerous genes that are inherited in a quantitative way.
Hosted the Cotton Incorporated sponsored Cotton Breeders Tour of southeast genetics programs when they visited Florence in September 2005.
Hosted participants in the International Cotton Advisory Committee Research Associate Program in April 2006.
Discussed the cotton genetics program with approximately 50 growers, industry, and research and extension specialists at the Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center Field day in September 2005.
Presented the overall goals of the cotton genetics program and specific experiments on cotton cultivar responses to supplemental irrigation at the Cotton Breeders Tour of southeast genetics programs, September 2005, Florence, SC. Presented research on quantifying soil water use by crops in conservation tillage systems and the impact of soil water status on the distribution of fiber quality throughout the canopy at the Cotton Breeders Tour of southeast genetics programs, September 2005, Florence, SC.
Presented the goals of the cotton germplasm enhancement program and molecular marker research to participants in the International Cotton Advisory Committee Research Associate Program, April 2006, Florence, SC.
Presented research results on conservation tillage and soil improvement practices in cotton production to participants in the International Cotton Advisory Committee Research Associate Program, April 2006, Florence, SC.
Presented cotton genetics research results at the Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center Field Day, September 2005, Blackville, SC.Locke, M.A., Zablotowicz, R.M., Bauer, P.J., Steinriede Jr, R.W., Gaston, L.A. 2005. Conservation cotton production in the southern United States: Herbicide dissipation in soil and cover crops. Weed Science. 53:717-727.
Dilbirligi, M., Erayman, M., Campbell, B.T., Randhawa, H.S., Baenziger, P.S., Dweikat, I., Gill, K.S. 2006. High-density mapping and comparative analysis of agronomically important traits on wheat chromosome 3A. Genomics 88:74-87.
Baenziger, P.S., Russell, W.K., Graef, G.L., Campbell, B.T. 2005. Improving lives: 50 years of crop breeding, genetics, and cytology [abstract]. ASA Abstracts. CDROM.
Bauer, P.J., Mcalister III, D.D., Roof, M.E. 2006. Textile performance of conventional and transgenic cotton with and without stink bug control [abstract]. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 1855.
Bauer, P.J., Frederick, J.R., Novak, J.M., Busscher, W.J., Robinson, S. 2006. Crop response in a six-year split-field comparison of conventional and conservation technologies [abstract]. Southern Conservation Systems Conference Proceedings. p. 122.
Campbell, B.T. 2006. Field performance of the Pee Dee cotton germplasm collection [abstract]. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 759.
Campbell, B.T., Bauer, P.J. 2005. Initial assessment of the effect of supplemental irrigation on the agronomic and fiber quality performance of a subset of Pee Dee cotton germplasm lines [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. CDROM.