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Title: Glandless seed and glanded plant research in cotton

item CAI, YINGFAN - Chongqing University
item XIE, YONGFANG - Chongqing University
item Liu, Jinggao

Submitted to: Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2008
Publication Date: 2/19/2009
Citation: Cai, Y., Xie, Y., Liu, J. 2010. Glandless seed and glanded plant research in cotton. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 30:181-190.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recently the world has become entangled by threatened shortage of food such as rice. This threatens the sustainable development of the world economy, and resulted in rising food prices. To address this issue, cotton (Gossypium) may offer a source of not only fiber, but also a source of food from cottonseed. Recent research findings indicate bright prospects for utilizing cottonseed as a food source. Gossypium species are characterized by the presence of lysigenous glands that contain terpenoid aldehydes, which are important secondary compounds such as gossypol, which constitutes an important component in the plant’s defense system against insect pests and diseases. However, gossypol is toxic to non-ruminant animals and humans. Thus, the occurrence of gossypol in the lysigenous glands of cottonseed render cottonseed unfit as a food source for humans, and this valuable source of protein, which could potentially provide the annual protein requirements for half a billion people, is largely wasted. One approach to address this problem is to create a plant with glandless seed but with glands in the foliage. A breakthrough in this field would make cotton both a fiber and a food crop, which would be a feat of great magnitude for sustainable development of agriculture. Research on the relationship between glands and their secondary inclusions at the molecular level is one approach for genetic engineering to control the glands and gossypol content. In this article, we review recent progress on glands and gossypol content for diverse gland types in Gossypium species, inheritance of glands and gossypol content, traditional breeding for glandless seeds with glanded foliage, the gossypol and terpenoid aldehyde biosynthesis pathway, molecular cloning of the related genes, the strategy for genetic engineering, and future prospects.