Start Date: Apr 12, 2006
End Date: Apr 23, 2010
The genetic potential of cotton, and crop species in general, for production of abundant high quality economic yield is severely compromised by specific abiotic stresses, like temperature and water, that are endemic to the arid southwestern U.S. In addition, early season chilling stress impacts yield by stunting growth and delaying planting date. The negative impact of these stresses is likely to intensify as the global climate changes and water availability becomes more limiting. The mission of this research unit is to use a multidisciplinary approach to improve stress tolerance and yield in cotton. Fundamental approaches that integrate physiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and classical plant breeding will be used to identify and modify the response of cotton to environmental stress. Through this research, new sources of cotton germplasm will be developed with improved stress tolerance, as well as higher fiber quality and enhanced yield. The basic biochemical strategies developed for improving stress tolerance in cotton will have broad application to the variety of crop plants cultivated in arid environments. BSL-1, App #P-3-98-1 3/4/98; Recert. 2/1/05. Replaces 5344-21000-008-00D (3/06).