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Research Project: Molecular Approaches for More Efficient Breeding to Improve Cotton Fiber Quality Traits

Location: Cotton Fiber Bioscience Research

Title: History of cotton fiber bioscience research at USDA-ARS Southern Regional Research Center

Author
item Fang, David
item Kim, Hee-Jin

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2018
Publication Date: 6/1/2018
Citation: Fang, D.D., Kim, H.J. 2018. History of cotton fiber bioscience research at USDA-ARS Southern Regional Research Center. Journal of Cotton Science. 22:12-23.

Interpretive Summary: Improving fiber quality has been an important breeding goal for cotton breeders. Better understanding of fiber development helps cotton scientists to devise a strategy for crop improvement either through marker-assisted selection or via manipulation of fiber genes. USDA-ARS Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) in New Orleans, LA has a long history of studying postharvest fiber chemistry and physics, but research on cotton fiber development in planta began only in 1985. During the period of 1985—2008, cotton fiber bioscience research at SRRC was led by Dr. Barbara Triplett whose research focused on dissecting cotton fiber development at the level of gene processes and testing hypotheses about the functional roles of specific genes, or cohorts of coordinately regulated genes in important fiber traits. Following stakeholders’ recommendations, the cotton fiber bioscience research unit (CFBRU) was established in 2007 at SRRC. Currently, research projects in the CFBRU are focusing on 1) in-depth research to understand the basic biology of cotton fiber development; 2) genetically-mapping fiber quality and yield quantitative trait loci; and 3) using the obtained information in breeding to improve cotton fiber quality. Scientific accomplishments achieved during the past eight years include, but limited to, identification of ligon-lintless 1 mutation gene, of immature fiber (im) mutation gene, and of stable and large effect fiber QTL, and application of fiber QTL in practical breeding.

Technical Abstract: Improving fiber quality has been an important breeding goal for cotton breeders. Better understanding of fiber development helps cotton scientists to devise a strategy for crop improvement either through marker-assisted selection or via manipulation of fiber genes. USDA-ARS Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) in New Orleans, LA has a long history of studying postharvest fiber chemistry and physics, but research on cotton fiber development in planta began only in 1985. During the period of 1985—2008, cotton fiber bioscience research at SRRC was led by Dr. Barbara Triplett whose research focused on dissecting cotton fiber development at the level of gene processes and testing hypotheses about the functional roles of specific genes, or cohorts of coordinately regulated genes in important fiber traits. Following stakeholders’ recommendations, the cotton fiber bioscience research unit (CFBRU) was established in 2007 at SRRC. Currently, research projects in the CFBRU are focusing on 1) in-depth research to understand the basic biology of cotton fiber development; 2) genetically-mapping fiber quality and yield quantitative trait loci; and 3) using the obtained information in breeding to improve cotton fiber quality.