Submitted to: Cotton Foundation Reference Book Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Carbohydrates and their metabolism are exceptionally important factors in the growth and productivity of the cotton plant. Cotton fiber is 95% cellulose, a molecule which is a polymer of a simple sugar, glucose. The creation of sugars and their delivery to growing bolls are therefore critical processes in determining cotton yield and anything which alters these processes alters cotton yield. This book chapter is a review of the literature dealing with carbohydrate synthesis and metabolism in the cotton plant. Modern methods of analyzing carbohydrates in cotton tissues are also addressed in this chapter. In addition, the problem of honeydew-induced fiber stickiness is briefly mentioned. It is hoped that a better understanding of these processes will assist in developing improved cultural practices which will improve yield in this important crop.
Technical Abstract: The photosynthetic creation of carbohydrates and their metabolism are at the heart of growth and productivity of the cotton plant. Anything which alters carbohydrate metabolism alters yield. Carbohydrate metabolism in the cotton plant has therefore received considerable attention since the pioneering work of Phillis and Mason and Ergle on carbohydrate transport and the accumulation of nonstructural carbohydrates. In recognition of its importance to cotton growth and yield, carbohydrate metabolism has formed a central part of various models of cotton growth and yield. This book chapter deals with some of the cellular and tissue-level processes in nonstructural carbohydrate metabolism in the cotton plant. Problems associated with the analysis of soluble carbohydrate tissues are discussed. In addition, a brief discussion of the metabolism of plant sugars by phloem-feeding insects related to industry problems with sticky cotton fiber is presented.