Operation of a Cotton Winter Nursery to Maintain Cotton Germplasm Diversity and to Accelerate Public and Private Cotton Improvement Efforts
Crop Germplasm Research
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Jointly manage and maintain a cotton winter nursery for the propagation of the National Cotton Germplasm Collection and for the acceleration of public and private cotton improvement efforts.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
A tropical cotton winter nursery will be jointly maintained and managed by the National Cotton Council and the Agricultural Research Service. Seed of accessions from the National Cotton Germplasm Collection and from public and private research efforts will be sent to the nursery for seed increase and generational advancement. Services such as forced self pollination ("selfing"), creation of hybrids ("crossing"), and rouging of genetic materials will be offered to users. Materials increased or created by crossing will be ginned at the nursery, fumigated, and shipped to users through the assistance of the ARS. The cooperating parties of this agreement will together provide the personnel, expertise, supplies, and equipment necessary to support the operation of the nursery and the services it provides.
The goal of this project is to preserve and expand the cotton germplasm base and to accelerate private and public cotton improvement efforts. The project accomplishes this by providing oversight of the Cotton Winter Nursery (CWN) in Mexico. In FY 2013, the nursery was successfully relocated to a new site in the state of Colima. A second, summer season of production (a new service offered in FY 2012), was offered again in FY 2013 to provide increased services for Nursery users. Seed of 1,200 accessions from the National Cotton Germplasm Collection were increased at the CWN. Seed of all accessions were placed in storage and made available to requesting researchers. The CWN provided seed increase and hybridization services to a number of ARS, academic, and industry users. Ongoing work by this project assures the long-term accessibility of an "off-season" seed increase facility to cotton researchers and breeders and assures access to the large diversity of cotton resources held in the National Cotton Germplasm Collection. The CWN remains a critical resource to its users in their efforts to develop more productive, efficient, and profitable cotton varieties for use by U.S. farmers.