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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #299211

Research Project: Enhancing Fiber and Seed Quality Traits Through Conventional and Molecular Approaches, and Conducting the National Cotton Variety Testing Program to Improve Cotton Competitive Ability

Location: Crop Genetics Research

Title: Cotton half seed selection strategy for gossypol and its plus isomer

Author
item Scheffler, Jodi
item Dowd, Michael
item Romano, Gabriela
item Pelitire, Scott

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2015
Publication Date: 8/23/2015
Citation: Scheffler, J.A., Dowd, M.K., Romano, G.B., Pelitire, S.M. 2015. Cotton half seed selection strategy for gossypol and its plus isomer. Journal of Cotton Science. 19:279-289.

Interpretive Summary: Successful breeding programs optimize a combination of time, labor and resources to produce improved varieties. When possible, selecting a single plant early in the breeding process offers the most efficient strategy for development. This requires a trait that is highly heritable and available methods to test a seed without destroying it. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) produces seed with high quality protein and oil, however, a toxic compound in the seed called gossypol limits its use. A reduction in cotton seed gossypol would increase the amount of seed that could be fed to livestock, chickens, or fish. Methods were needed to allow analysis for gossypol content using half a seed and then grow a plant from the remainder of the seed. Half seed preparation and plant propagation methods were combined with an HPLC micro-analysis protocol to provide a simple, cost effective and successful procedure to breed for lower gossypol content. Money, time and labor are saved using these methods, the number of lines evaluated in later generations decreased, and varieties produced one year earlier than would be the case using a more conventional breeding strategy. Other testing and trait evaluation methods can also be combined with this method to further optimize selection efficiency.

Technical Abstract: Successful breeding programs optimize a combination of time, labor and resources to produce improved elite lines and varieties. When possible, selecting in the F2 generation, on a single plant basis, offers the most efficient strategy for selection and development. This requires a trait that is highly heritable and methods that allow analysis without destroying the seed needed to produce a plant and seed for subsequent generations of evaluation. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) produces seed with high quality protein and oil, however, a toxic compound in the seed (gossypol) limits its use. Gossypol is a polyphenol with two isomers (+) and (-). The (+) form is less toxic than the (-) form and is highly heritable. A reduction in cotton seed gossypol, or a change in the proportion of (+) and (-) gossypol isomers would increase the amount of cotton seed that could be fed to livestock, chickens, or fish. Methods are needed to allow analysis for gossypol using half a seed and use the remainder of the seed to produce a viable plant. Rapid and cost effective methods to prepare the cotyledon (chalazal) half of a seed and analyze it for gossypol using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) micro-analysis were developed and tested. Techniques to propagate the embryo (micropylar) half of the seed were also established and elite lines produced one year earlier than would be the case using a more conventional breeding strategy. The half seed preparation and plant propagation methods combined with the HPLC micro-analysis protocol provide a simple, cost effective and successful procedure to breed for modified gossypol content and isomer composition. Money time and labor are saved using these methods, and the number of lines needing to be evaluated in later generations decreased. Other testing and trait evaluation methods can also be combined with this method to further optimize selection efficiency.