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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Plant Physiology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334362

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Phenotyping of Cotton, Bioenergy and Other Industrial Crops

Location: Plant Physiology and Genetics Research

Title: Chemical variation for fiber cuticular wax levels in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) evaluated under contrasting irrigation regimes

item Thompson, Alison
item PAULI, DUKE - Cornell University - New York
item Tomasi, Pernell
item Yurchenko, Olga
item JENKS, MATTHEW - West Virginia University
item Dyer, John
item GORE, MICHAEL - Cornell University - New York

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2017
Publication Date: 3/2/2017
Citation: Thompson, A.L., Pauli, D., Tomasi, P., Yurchenko, O., Jenks, M.A., Dyer, J.M., Gore, M.A. 2017. Chemical variation for fiber cuticular wax levels in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) evaluated under contrasting irrigation regimes. Industrial Crops and Products. 100:153-162.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton fiber is an important natural fiber source for the textile industry worldwide. The sale and production of cotton fiber relies heavily on fiber quality measurements which are affected by environmental factors. Cotton fiber cuticles are composed of free waxes which form protective hydrophobic barriers and have been linked to improved yarn and fabric production but are often negatively correlated with fiber quality measurements. In this study the cuticular wax compounds of cotton fiber were identified under water-limited and well-watered conditions and correlated with fiber quality traits. A total of 41 compounds were quantified and the abundance for nine compounds was affected by the water deficit treatment. Strong positive correlations were found between cuticular wax compounds and fiber strength, length, and uniformity quality measurements. This work has tentatively identified known genes involved in cuticular wax synthesis as targets for genomic assisted breeding for cotton fiber quality improvement.

Technical Abstract: Fiber quality is important for the sale of bulk fiber to textile mills for processing but is affected by many environmental factors, including water deficit. These environmental factors have made it difficult to identify the primary determinants of fiber quality which has spurred renewed research efforts to identify major fiber characteristics for breeding improved varieties. The cuticle of cotton fiber is composed of free waxes and the cutin polymer. Cuticular waxes are known to form protective hydrophobic barriers that help prevent water loss in leaves under water deficit conditions. Total cuticular wax of cotton fiber has been shown to act as a lubricant and improve production during textile processing but has also been shown to be negatively correlated with quality traits micronaire, percent fiber, fiber length, and uniformity. The objectives of this study were to identify the cuticular wax compounds of cotton fiber under well-watered and water-limited irrigation treatments and assess their relationship with fiber quality traits from seven Upland cotton cultivars. Using GC-MS, 41 quantifiable compounds were identified in the cuticular wax of cotton fibers including free fatty acids, primary alcohols, aldehydes, alkanes, and tentatively identified alkanediols. Of the 41 identified compounds, the abundance for nine were significantly differentiated between the two contrasting irrigation treatments. Strong positive correlations were found between fiber length and the C28 primary alcohol, C16 acid, and 1,3-C30 alkanediol compounds suggesting they are metabolically linked to fiber length. High repeatability estimates (= .70) indicate that environmental variance is low for these compounds and therefore heritable traits that would be good breeding targets for improved fiber length and uniformity.