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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #381551

Research Project: Utilizing Conventional and Molecular Approaches to Enhance Seed and Fiber Quality Traits, and Conducting a National Cotton Variety Testing Program

Location: Crop Genetics Research

Title: Comparative study of transgenic and nontransgenic cotton

item Zeng, Linghe
item WU, JIXIANG - South Dakota State University
item BOURLAND, FRED - University Of Arkansas
item Campbell, Benjamin - Todd
item DEVER, JANE - Texas A&M University
item HAQUE, STEVE - Texas A&M University
item MYERS, GERALD - Louisiana State University
item RAPER, TYSON - University Of Tennessee
item SMITH, C - West Texas A & M University
item ZHANG, JINFA - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2021
Publication Date: 6/11/2021
Citation: Zeng, L., Wu, J., Bourland, F.M., Campbell, B.T., Dever, J.K., Hague, S.S., Myers, G.O., Raper, T.B., Smith, C.W., Zhang, J. 2021. Comparative study of transgenic and nontransgenic cotton. Crop Science. 61:2467-2477.

Interpretive Summary: The impact of the genetically modified (GMO) cotton in production has been tremendous in promotion of yield. However, the influence of the GMO cotton on genetic diversity of cotton cultivars is unknown. This study analyzed historical data of Regional High Quality (RHQ) test from 2002 through 2018 by comparisons between the GMO cotton and conventional cotton. Results indicated that GMO cotton had higher yield than conventional cotton, but conventional cotton had better fiber quality than GMO cotton. Genetic analysis indicated that genetic diversity in GMO cotton decreased compared to conventional cotton for yield and fiber quality traits. This decrease of genetic diversity in GMO cotton is believed to be caused by the breeding method in development of the GMO cotton cultivars in private cotton companies. These results suggest that increasing genetic diversity in GMO cotton will require a renewed focus on diversity and continuing improvement of breeding method in private cotton companies.

Technical Abstract: The environmental impact of genetically modified crops has been extensively investigated. However, few reports on the influence of transgenic traits on genetic structure were reported in the literature. It is unknown how or if transgenic cultivars have impacted genotypic variation in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) since its rise to dominance in cotton production. In this study, the genotypic variance components, g, of lint yield and fiber quality parameters were compared among transgenic and non-transgenic cotton in the USDA Regional High Quality (RHQ) tests from 2002 through 2018. The popular transgenic and non-transgenic cultivars/lines developed by the major private and public cotton breeding programs in U.S. during this period were included. Testing cycles within the RHQ protocol consist of standardized control cultivars plus experimental entries. Variance components were dissected in each testing year within six such testing cycles. Lint yield of the transgenic cotton was generally higher than non-transgenic cotton, but the difference has minimized after 2013. Fiber quality of the non-transgenic cotton were generally higher than the transgenic cotton. For lint yield, the proportion of g to the total variance was lower in the transgenic cotton than the non-transgenic cotton, but the difference diminished in the recent two cycles. The proportion of g was lower in the transgenic cotton compared to the non-transgenic cotton for fiber length, strength, uniformity, and micronaire. The discrepancy between the two types of cotton in the RHQ tests reflects the influences of differential breeding schemes in the private and public breeding programs on genotypic variance of yield and fiber quality.