Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2004
Publication Date: 1/10/2004
Citation: Yu, J., Zhang, T. 2004. Towards the international collaboration on cotton structural genomics. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 6-9, 2004, San Antonio, Texas. 2004 CDROM.
Technical Abstract: In the last century, genetic manipulations of the cotton plant played a key role to improve the cotton productivity. While many easy improvements have been accomplished, the genetic potential of cotton yields and quality has not reached its full and current cotton yields and quality are static if not declining. In this new century, emerging genomic technology revolutionizes our approach to making otherwise difficult genetic improvements, as evidenced in several other crop species. For cotton, there is an urgent need to develop open resources and tools to facilitate the advancements of basic and applied genome research that lags behind other major crops. Understanding and manipulating the cotton genome will only progress if the resources to characterize the structure, decipher the functions, parse the evolutionary history of the cotton genome are readily available. Cotton structural genomics would provide a foundation and platforms for elucidating the function of many thousand genes and their applications in cotton improvement. Recently, the International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI) proposes short-term objectives on structural genomics that include (1) development of large numbers of portable DNA markers; (2) integration of cotton genetic and physical mapping information; (3) identification and localization of important agronomic traits (QTLs); (4) better understanding of cotton genome structural organization; and (5) preparation for genome sequencing of the cultivated cotton. The ICGI promotes global communication, collaboration, and coordination on cotton genomic research and education as the lack of information exchanges among national and international cotton researchers limits the advancement of cotton genomic research. Much time and resources can be saved if participating members of the ICGI complement one another on cotton genomic research. One of the recent examples of such efforts was resulted from the discussion at the Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Roundtable of the China-U.S. Relation Conference that was held at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, November 2003. Participating Chinese and American cotton researchers agreed to collaboratively develop open genomic platforms and recourses for cotton improvement. A base mapping population, DNA markers, and large insert BAC clones are shared among the cotton researchers. Many other cotton producing countries including Australia, France, India, and Uzbekistan also have been actively involved in related formal and/or informal international collaborations on development and applications of cotton DNA markers, genome mapping, and QTL discovery. These coordinated activities reduce the redundancy and improve the efficiency of cotton structural genomic research for the benefits of the global cotton community.