Project Summaries

03-367  Project Manager: D. C. Jones


C. Wayne Smith and Steven S. Hague, Texas A&M University

All performance trials were successfully completed at Weslaco, Corpus Christi, West Sinton, College Station, Thrall, and Chillicothe. We did not lose any strain performance tests to drought in 2012, although we lost at least one variety trial at Commerce (Dallas) due to drought. Potential new germplasm releases were identified and final data analysis will identify final selections for release. At least one strain from the 06WE-62 high strength family will be released and several strains with ELS length but from different parents than the original material may be released in 2013. Stability analysis indicated that the 06WE-62 high strength material is as stable across the diverse environments of Texas and at least one line with fiber bundle strength of approximately 38 g/tex a will be released in 2013. Lines within the 06WE-62 family exhibited 22% greater fiber bundle strength, 5% longer UHML, and 5% finer fibers than Fibermax 832 and DPL 491, and produced 30 Ne count carded yarn 35% stronger and requiring 55% greater work to break.

Selections within segregating populations at College Station resulted in approximately 900 individual plants that will be reselected on the bases of fiber properties to produce about 600 F4 progeny rows for 2013. Approximately 200 F4 progeny were selected for evaluation as F5 progeny in 2013, with UHML as high as 1.40- inches and fiber bundle strength as high as 40 g/tex. Thirty-one F5s were identified that yielded as well as both DP491 and Tamcot 73 in side-by-side comparisons that will be performance tested in 2013. About 200 new strains and 75 advanced strains were evaluated by the Cotton Improvement Lab across seven locations in central and south Texas during 2012. From these evaluations, and in addition to the releases noted above, several TAM strains with competitive to outstanding fiber properties were either identified or confirmed as potential new parental sources for cultivar development.

More than 1,500 strain lines were evaluated across seven locations at various stages of development. Lines were tested for lint yield, fiber quality, host-plant resistance to whiteflys and fleahoppers, and drought.

Drought was emphasized in field trials and greenhouse screenings. Dryland trials received timely rains for high yields at most locations. This was in contrast to the experiences in 2010 and 2011. Nevertheless, greenhouse screenings of seedling drought tolerance validated previous screening trials and helped to confirm lines that have drought tolerance. These lines are being used as parental material as well as populations used in recurrent selection schemes.

A major focus in the program is the development of cultivar level material. In 2012 the initial crosses made in 2006 were tested at the elite strain level. This set of lines performed exceptionally well. This is now the basis of the elite breeding material within the program. Interestingly, the line 08 WZ-83 is not proving to be the best parent despite its own performance across locations and years. Within this set of lines, 08 WZ-91 is proving to be the best combiner. Lines at the preliminary stage performed better at College Station than in Corpus Christi in 2012. The test at College Station was irrigated and thought to be more definitive. New pedigrees of interspecific upland x sea island lines were evaluated for potential as strain lines. The average fiber length of lines selected for strain testing was 1.28 and the average lint percent among these same lines was 39.2%. Twenty three individual plant selections were made for re-evaluation in progeny rows. The average fiber length among these lines was 1.39 inches and the average lint percent was 38.7%. New pedigrees will be entering the same system in 2013.

Kolbyn Joy, Cotton Incorporated Fellow, has taken employment with Monsanto. Kari Hugie, Cotton Incorporated Fellow, began her Ph.D. studies in July, 2012. Her dissertation research will focus on the presence/absence of known markers for fiber length/strength within selections from common parents that are exceptionally long or short/weak or strong. This project also resulted in the partial support of two M.S. level graduate students. Four abstracts/proceedings were generated from this effort. Most importantly, breeding material generated by this project is the basis of future cultivars that will be made available as stand-alone cultivars or with value-added traits.


Project Year: 2012

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