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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309354

Title: Genetic variation and comparative analysis of thrips resistance in glandless and glanded cotton under field conditions

item ZHANG, JINFA - New Mexico State University
item IDOWU, OMOLOLU - New Mexico State University
item WEDEGAERTNER, TOM - Cotton, Inc
item Hughs, Sidney

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2014
Publication Date: 10/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Zhang, J., Idowu, O.J., Wedegaertner, T., Hughs, S.E. 2014. Genetic variation and comparative analysis of thrips resistance in glandless and glanded cotton under field conditions. Euphytica. 199:373-383.

Interpretive Summary: There is interest in the cotton industry in developing commercial varieties of cotton for cottonseed free of gossypol (glandless) which can be used as a protein source for non-ruminant animals. Commercial production of glandless cotton in the past has been severely limited due to its being more susceptible to insect damage and yield loss compared to conventional gossypol containing (glanded) varieties. With the elimination of the boll weevil and the pink bollworm as major cotton pests, the way is now open to seriously consider developing commercial glandless cotton varieties. Other insect pests of cotton still remain with the western flower thrip being of concern in the western cotton growing areas of the US. This study reports on several replicated field tests that evaluated the thrip resistance of a number of glandless and glanded cotton varieties to the western flower thrip. Overall the field tests showed that some of the glandless cotton germplasm had higher resistance to western flower thrip than did the glanded cotton. This shows the potential of being able to develop commercial glandless cotton varieties that will not be severely affected by the western flower thrip. However, there are other thrip species that feed on cotton and the glandless cotton will have to be evaluated for their impact on yield in future field trials.

Technical Abstract: Glandless cotton can be grown for cottonseed free of toxic gossypol to be used as food and feed for non-ruminant animals. However, one of the most important limiting factors preventing its commercial production is its higher insect damage than conventional glanded cotton. Thrips is the one of the most important insect pests in the early growing season that may cause yield losses. In this study, 28, 29, 26, and 2 glandless cotton lines were compared with glanded control Acala 1517-08 and other glanded lines for resistance to the Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) in four replicated field tests each containing 32 genotypes. In the same field, 28 glanded commercial cultivars and 78 glanded breeding lines were compared with Acala 1517-08 and Acala 1517-99 in three other tests with 32 genotypes each. The experimental layouts allowed a comprehensive comparative analysis of thrips resistance within and between glandless and glanded cotton. Overall, glandless cotton had similar or lower thrips damage than glanded cotton, indicating that the glandless trait may serve as a genetic factor for suppressing thrips damage. As compared with Acala 1517-08 which represented one of the most thrips resistant genotypes among glanded cotton tested, glandless Acala GLS and many selections from glandless germplasm were more resistant, while some were similar to Acala 1517-08, indicating that genetic factors other than the glandless trait also affect thrips resistance in cotton. The estimates for broad-sense heritability for thrips resistance were moderate, indicating that thrips resistance is selectable. This is corroborated by the identification of many thrips resistant lines from a cross between Acala 1517-08 and Acala GLS. This study has laid a foundation for a more detailed study using most resistant lines with desirable agronomic traits in multiple environments.