Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Conventional breeding has greatly contributed to cotton genetic improvement and thus, to cotton high fiber yield and quality and low production cost. However, a decline in cotton yield and quality has recently occurred. Cotton breeders are facing a significant challenge to continued genetic improvement of this crop. Studies in other crop plants and farm animals have demonstrated that genomics research promises to provide evolutionary tools for enhanced genetic improvement. Examples of such tools include portable DNA markers and cloned genes that are essential for marker-assisted selection in germplasm analysis and variety breeding, and genetic engineering in molecular breeding. These tools will allow breeders to simultaneously select and pyramid multiple agronomic traits into a single variety and to transfer agronomic genes from distantly related species to cultivated crops efficiently. Nevertheless, genomics research of cotton lags far behind those of other major crops such as maize, soybean and wheat. Without essential genomic tools, cotton breeding and consequently yields and quality will remain lagging behind other crops that are subject to modern genetic analyses. We have therefore initiated genomics research in the crop.