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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Crop Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #443599

Research Project: Improving Cotton Fiber Yield and Planting Seed Vigor Under Heat Stress Environments

Location: Crop Germplasm Research

Project Number: 3091-21000-048-006-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

Increasing severity and occurrences of major heat waves resulting from the worsening climate crisis are detrimental to cotton plant photosynthesis and consequently to cotton crop productivity. Hybrid cotton can take advantage of heterosis in the production of fiber and cottonseed among other traits under abiotic stress environments. The U.S. cotton industry will need an effective genetic system to produce hybrid cotton seed that also incorporates additional heat tolerance potential. This project aims to explore new methods and develop genetic resources to increase cotton heat tolerance capacity and to improve cotton productivity under heat stress environments.

We are taking two approaches to achieving our goals by: (1) incorporating a cotton chloroplast gene called D1 into the nuclear genome to repair photosynthetic damage and boost the efficiency of photosynthesis, and (2) developing cotton genetic male sterility lines that can be used to produce hybrid cotton seed suitable for heat stress environments. This research project involves a series of experiments to be carried out at USDA Agricultural Research Service in College Station, TX. Genetic transformation and regeneration of cotton plants will be done in collaboration with University of North Texas in Denton, TX.