The Worldwide Gene Pool of G. hirsutum and its Improvement

Chapter
Part of the Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models book series (PGG, volume 3)

Abstract

The Gossypium genus has more than 50 species that are available to use as germplasm; 5 species, including G. hirsutum, are allotetraploids while the rest are diploid species. The 7 races of G. hirsutum are directly usable as a germplasm resource with photoperiodism as the main barrier. The sister tetraploids require further effort to be utilized as germplasm for G. hirsutum improvement due to segregational breakdown. Utilizing germplasm from the diploids generally requires more extreme methods such as chromosome doubling and the use of bridging species. The phenotypic consequences of the domestication of Upland cotton, G. hirsutum, are similar to the domestication syndrome that is generally common to many crop plants. The genetic consequences of domestication are reflected by the very low level of genetic diversity found in Upland cultivars. In continuing the domestication of Upland cotton, developmental breeding programs are quickly becoming absolutely imperative to provide the diversity that is needed to provide intrinsic genetic solutions to the needs of producers, processors, and consumers.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaTiftonUSA

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