Submitted to: Cotton Farming
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2003
Citation: YU, J. EXPANDING COTTON'S GENETIC BASE. Cotton Farming. May 2003. p. 10.
Interpretive Summary: Cotton production faces apparent decline in its yield and quality. This is largely due to the narrow genetic base in cultivated cotton cultivars. Only one percent of U.S. germplasm has been explored because of limited tools that are effective in the discovery of new genes. However, recent genome mapping studies confirm superior genes may be derived from a phenotypically inferior germplasm. An integrated strategy is proposed to examine both genotypes and phenotypes for enhanced cotton germplasm.
Technical Abstract: Genetic base of cultivated cottons is narrow due to a shortage of effective tools to hunt for new genes in the cotton germplasm and to transfer useful genes into elite cotton cultivars. This article is an invited viewpoint to present a strategy for exploring the 99% untapped U.S. cotton germplasm. Polygenic agronomic traits could be improved effectively if we develop an approach integrating contemporary genomic technologies with those of classical breeding. More accurate guidance in germplasm characterization may be achieved by use of molecular descriptors or DNA profiles derived from the cotton genome map. This strategy looks directly for genes or genotypes of interest, while eliminating undesirable factors from linkage drags. Phenotypic evaluation will follow to observe the expression of discovered new genes in the expanded gene pools.