Support of basic and applied genetic 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. These successes led to the development of reference, or gold standard, genomes of Upland cotton and four of its related tetraploid species in 2020. Knowledge gleaned from these genomes will help scientists identify genes to improve desirable agronomic traits using new tools such as gene editing. An important step in understanding the association between genomic knowledge and field level performance is the rapidly growing area of high-throughput phenotyping (HTP). The interaction of these cutting edge research disciplines provides a solid foundation for the continued genetic improvement of cotton.