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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Crop Genetics Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Organize, collect data, analyze, and report the NCVT. Objective 2: Estimate variety (V), environmental (E), and their interaction components (VE) and relate results to improved breeding and evaluation of varieties for specific environments. Objective 3: Measure the genetic progress in yield, yield components, and fiber traits. Objective 4: Evaluate variety, environmental, and their variety x environmental contributions of fiber and seed traits that are not usually evaluated in variety tests.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Organize and design annual tests, assemble data, analyze, publish and communicate results to cooperators and the public. Archive and make database available to cooperators. Reinforce ARS genetic fiber quality studies. Perform or assist in special variety, years, and location analyses. Update variety evaluations by using the latest technology improvements in computer and statistical services and fiber quality instrumentation. Use NCVT database to detect long term and regional trends in yield and seed and fiber quality. Explore the use of molecular markers (RFLPs) to fingerprint varieties and genetic populations. Utilize database to associate environmental effects on cotton. Utilize residual fiber samples to correlate data from new instrumentation with database. Utilize seed and fiber samples from the NCVT to measure the genetic, environmental, and their interactions on new traits.

3. Progress Report
The objective of this service project is to establish an organized, flexible system to evaluate cotton varieties’ contributions to the USA’s cotton industry and its impact on foreign exports. The protocol of the National Cotton Variety Test (NCVT) develops and establishes uniform methods for carrying out tests and coordinating reporting methods. This project furnishes up-to-date information on the status of USA cotton breeding. The NCVT is the most comprehensive variety evaluation test of any USA crop. The tests involve 14 states and has three separate sub-projects (Upland, Pima and Regional High Quality tests). The Upland tests involves six regions covering about 15 locations in the Eastern, Delta, Central, Texas (Blacklands), Plains, and West areas. The Regional High Quality (RHQ) Tests involves, on average, nine locations from eight states. The Pima tests evaluate varieties in the western portion of the USA, typically conducted at five locations in Arizona, New Mexico and California. Each of these tests measure varietal performance on lint and seed yield, oil and nitrogen %, yield components, fiber traits and seed gossypol traits. In 2011, 53 varieties/strains were evaluated in the NCVT tests. Data derived from the NCVT is often used in scientific studies conducted by other researchers. An examples of this is an ARS scientist from SRRC, in New Orleans, LA, studying the influence of environment and genotypes on fatty acid profiles. Other recent examples include a scientist from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, investigating special quantitative inheritance analysis, and another scientist, USDA/ARS, comparing fiber quality of cottons grown in the NCVT with the fiber quality of the same varieties grown in Tecoman, Mexico. New hypotheses on evaluating cottons’ fiber traits influence on yarn quality have been formed through the data from the NCVT; these data are being evaluated at Clemson, SC. Stability parameters are being investigated by a scientist at South Dakota State University, and a similar study is being conducted by two scientists in Australia.

4. Accomplishments
1. Provide an organized, flexible system of evaluating cotton varieties. Cotton yield and fiber quality is strongly influenced by environmental conditions, requiring cultivars to be grown in multiple locations and years for accurate assessment; the National Cotton Variety Test (NCVT) is a cooperative effort to allow efficient evaluation of cultivars grown in multiple environments across the U.S. cotton production region. ARS scientists at Stoneville, MS, coordinated forty-three tests conducted at 33 locations in 14 states and divided into three subgroups: Upland, Regional High Quality and Pima. In 2011, 53 varieties/strains were evaluated through the NCVT program where varietal performance for lint and seed yield, yield components, fiber traits, seed oil and nitrogen content, and seed gossypol content were measured. Additionally, research by other scientists utilizes data from the NCVT such as seed and lint from the Regional High Quality test to determine the influence of environment and genotypes on fatty acid profiles, quantitative inheritance analyses, comparison of fiber quality from cottons grown in the NCVT with the same varieties grown in Tecoman, Mexico, and stability parameters. Data collected in the tests aid breeders in releasing high yielding cotton germplasm with excellent fiber quality that can compete in international markets.

Review Publications
Meredith Jr, W.R., Nokes, W.S. 2011. Release notice of MD 9ne and MD25 high fiber quality cotton germplasm lines. Journal of Plant Registrations. 5(2):202-206.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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