Submitted to: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Research Report
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2003
Publication Date: 7/1/2003
Citation: MCCARTY JR, J.C., HEDIN, P.A. GENETICALLY BASED INCREASES IN COTTON PLANT LINT BIOSYNTHESIS. MISSISSIPPI AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTRY EXPERIMENT STATION RESEARCH REPORT. 2003. v.20.4p. Interpretive Summary: Lint yields of cotton have increased consistently in the past century due to selections for lint production. Modern day cotton plants make an earlier transition from vegetative to reproductive development during the time when maximal leaf mass and area are present. In the present study, 10 cultivars, each widely grown at one time during a period from 1890 to 1998, were compared for their capability to apportion their photosynthetic energy to biosynthesis of lint. While the plants did not change markedly in photosynthetic capability, apportionment to lint production increased.
Technical Abstract: Caloric analysis of the distribution of energy were carried out for 10 cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars, each planted in 1999, that had been widely grown at one time during a period from 1890 to 1998. For these analyses, plants were harvested, dried, weighed, and subsequently analyzed for protein, crude fat, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, nitrogen-free solubles, and ash according to standard AOAC methods. Analyses were performed on roots, stems with remaining leaves, burrs, seed, and lint. While the total caloric content per 100 g remained nearly constant, the percent by weight and in calories of vegetative tissues decreased from 59% for the earlier cultivars to 44% in modern cultivars. The change could be attributed to the genetically based increase of lint calories while those of roots, stems, burrs, and seeds were decreased or remained relatively unchanged. The plant did not change markedly in photosynthetic capability, but its capability to apportion energy to lint production increased.