To remain viable in a competitive global market, U.S. cotton must be high yielding with superior quality. At the same time, input costs for the grower must be minimized to give the greatest return for the dollar. Unit scientists are working to determine mechanisms responsible for cotton fiber development and how they could be modified to improve fiber quality. Scientists are also transferring desirable fiber characters and pest resistance traits from primitive cotton and wild relatives into adapted lines that can be used in public and private breeding programs. Other members of the unit are developing more cost effective cropping systems and finding ways to reduce damage caused by nematodes.
Soybean research at Stoneville has a long and productive history, from the important work of ARS Hall of Fame scientist Dr. E. E. Hartwig in developing varieties for southern soybean production, to the revolutionary work of Dr. Larry Heatherly in developing and implementing the Early Soybean Production System. Other critical areas of past research included long-term nematode research by Dr. Lawrence Young and developing new sources of disease resistance by Dr. Tom Kilen. A new generation of soybean scientists continues in this tradition, with the addition of molecular analysis capabilities. Currently, soybean research projects focus on developing varieties with enhanced capabilities for resisting the adverse effects of abiotic and biotic stresses. Research areas include enhancing drought tolerant nitrogen fixation, improving seed quality and yield, epidemiological/ecological studies of diseases and nematodes, and economic-based management strategies. Techniques employed include molecular identification of genes, classical genetics, pathological protocols, agronomy, molecular mapping, and plant breeding.
ARS News Articles
|USDA Research Yields Cotton Resistant to Top 20 Ag Threat|
|Feb 12, 2015|
|New Approach to Studying Fungus' Attack on Soybeans|
|Jun 09, 2014|
|National Cotton Variety Test Program is 50 Years Strong|
|Jan 19, 2010|
|New ARS-Developed Soybean Line Resists Key Nematode|
|Dec 31, 2009|
|New Tests Screen Weed for Resistance to Major Herbicide|
|Jun 20, 2005|
|Beneficial Fungal Strains Fight Harmful Ones in Corn|
|Feb 22, 2005|