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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Operation of a Cotton Winter Nursery to Maintain Cotton Germplasm Diversity and to Accelerate Public and Private Cotton Improvement Efforts

Location: Crop Germplasm Research

2010 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.


3.Progress Report

This is a new project that replaced 6202-21000-031-03S, continuing and expanding upon the work of the precursor project. The goal of this project is to assure the expansion of the cotton germplasm base by providing oversight of the Cotton Winter Nursery (CWN) in Mexico for germplasm and breeder seed increases. There is an ongoing need to expand the cotton germplasm base available in the U.S.; with less than 1% of the cotton germplasm base explored and utilized, concerns have been raised that the stagnation in cotton yields are due to the crop’s narrow genetic base. In FY 2010, seed of more than 1020 accessions from the ARS cotton germplasm collection were increased at the CWN, descriptor information was collected on the same number of accessions for characterization or identity confirmation, and fiber samples were obtained for fiber trait analyses. Seed of all accessions were placed in storage and made available to requesting researchers. The CWN provided seed increase and hybridization services to more than two dozen ARS, academic, and industry users in FY 2010. Ongoing work by this project will assure long-term accessibility of the large diversity of cotton resources held in the ARS collection. The ultimate goal of the CWN is to support its users in their efforts to develop more productive, efficient, and profitable cotton varieties for use by U.S. farmers. The project ADODR monitors the cooperator's performance under this agreement primarily through a formal Steering Committee that the ADODR chairs. Composition of the Committee includes key cotton researchers from government, academia, and industry. Scheduled meetings of the Committee are held three times a year and routinely involve detailed discussions of work progress, problems, and priorities. The ADODR maintains routine communications with the cooperator, CWN personnel, and members of the Steering Committee by phone, e-mail, and through personal interactions as appropriate.


Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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