Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Crop Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230767

Title: Cotton

item Hinze, Lori
item Frelichowski, James - Jim

Submitted to: Handbook of Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2008
Publication Date: 9/18/2009
Citation: Hague, S., Hinze, L.L., Frelichowski, J.E. 2009. Cotton. In: Vollman, J., Rajcan, I., editors. Handbook of Plant Breeding. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag. p. 257-285.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the 19th century, new uses emerged for cottonseed left over from ginning harvested cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Oil from cottonseed was determined to be useful in a range of food products, and cotton is now considered second only to soybean in the value of its oil products. Use of cottonseed has been hampered because it contains gossypol, which is a toxic compound. Nevertheless, ruminant animals can digest gossypol in limited quantities, and it can be removed during oil crushing processes. Cottonseed oil has good stability as cooking oil and can withstand high temperatures without deterioration. Moreover, cottonseed is a very popular feedstock for ruminant animals such as cattle. Cottonseed value as a protein source for dairy cattle milk production is equivalent to that of other high quality oil seeds such as canola (Brassica napus) and soybean (Glycine max), and can be an economically lucrative alternative feedstock in areas where it is available. Despite the extra profit from the sale of cottonseed and the emergence of new markets for cottonseed, historical production practices have been focused almost exclusively on fiber yield and quality because cottonseed is typically only worth about 12% of the crop’s value. New market opportunities for cottonseed appear to be rapidly developing. Cottonseed is a renewable fuel alternative to fossil fuels, and there is surging interest in cottonseed oil for use as a biodiesel. In addition, new opportunities for food use are now possible because of recent biotechnological advances in producing gossypol-free seed.