Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Genetic improvement of fiber quality in Pima cotton has been a key component in the successful development of the extra-long staple (ELS) industry in the United States. The objective of this report is to briefly summarize the changes in fiber quality in Pima cotton due to breeding since the turn of the century. Breeders have four unique gene pools during the development of Pima cotton in the U.S. Breeding efforts focused mainly on re-selecting pure lines from existing varieties or from crosses among lines within the gene pool which resulted the development of a narrow gene pool with little genetic variability for plant type or fiber quality. Breeders were able to make significant improvements in fiber and yarn strength within this gene pool. Since 1951, breeding efforts have focused on widening the gene pool of Pima cotton through extensive crossing among the best lines from each the three gene pools, followed by rigorous selection and testing of improved types. Each successive cultivar released from thi expanded gene pool was significantly better in some aspect of fiber quality than the previous cultivar.