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Fiber Crops: Cotton and Hesperaloe

  • Maria M. JenderekEmail author
  • James Frelichowski
Chapter

Abstract

Fibers derived from wild cotton (Gossypium L.) and hesperaloe (Hesperaloe Engelm.) plants have a long history of use from prehistoric times to the present. Cotton is currently the most important source of natural fibers in North America, whereas hesperaloe is considered as a potential “new” crop whose value may increase with changing weather patterns. Cotton in particular faces several pest and conservation challenges in its natural habitats. Cultivated and wild relatives of both plant genera are preserved in national germplasm collections; however, due to its economic importance, major conservation and evaluation efforts are focused on cotton. Conservation of cotton genetic resources is threatened by pest eradication programs that are a barrier to reestablishing wild Gossypium species in their natural habitats as well as maintaining germplasm nurseries in genebanks, while hesperaloe native populations are subjected to uncontrolled animal foraging and human outdoor activities. Wild populations of Gossypium were the foundation to the development of today’s cultivated crops. Conservation of genetic resources of both genera in in situ and ex situ environments is crucial for future crop development.

Keywords

Boll weevil Bollworm Bt CAM Collection Conservation Genebank Genome Germplasm Gossypium Wild relatives Cotton Hersperaloe 

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Agricultural Resources ResearchNational Laboratory for Genetic Resources PreservationFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Crop Germplasm ResearchCollege StationUSA

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