Cotton Variety Improvement Overview
Support of basic and applied research continues with an overall aim to improve lint yield, fiber quality, and stress tolerance while reducing input costs in a sustainable production system. Sequencing of progenitor genomes Gossypium raimondii (2012) and Gossypium arboreum (2014) paved the way for a draft genome sequence of Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) in early 2015. Knowledge gleaned from these sequences will help scientists identify genes to improve desirable agronomic traits. An important step in understanding the association between genomic knowledge and field level performance is the rapidly growing area of high through-put phenotyping (HTP). Both tractor and drone based HTP systems allow vast amounts of plant data to be collected as never before. The bridging of cutting edge research from several disciplines provides a solid foundation for the continued genetic improvement of cotton.