Cotton

Chinese researchers find key gene for cotton yield, fiber quality-Xinhua

A cotton picker works in a field in Yuli County, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 20, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Fei)

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — A group of Chinese researchers has identified the key gene that modifies the yield and fiber quality of upland cotton, laying the foundation for the improvement of cotton traits, according to a recent issue of the Journal of Advanced Research.

Upland cotton is one of the four major cotton species and is an important crop providing natural fibers for the textile industry. Under the current breeding and production conditions, there are unprecedented challenges facing the simultaneous improvement of fiber quality and yield, due to their complex negative correlations.

However, researchers from the Institute of Cotton Research under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences used an intraspecific recombinant inbred line of upland cotton population to identify the key gene GH_D07G2262 that can simultaneously modify the yield and fiber quality of upland cotton.

The research group verified the functions of the gene and found that it can positively regulate fiber length and strength, and negatively regulate lint percentage, which is the ratio of fiber weight to seed cotton weight, and is an important economic index for cotton planting.

The group also analyzed the genetic basis of the negative correlations between fiber quality and yield traits of upland cotton, providing new insights into the complex genetic relations among various traits, according to the study. 


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