An international team of researchers from the United States and Uzbekistan has developed longer and stronger cotton fiber.
The team used RNA interference (RNAi) technique to knock down one particular gene, resulting in longer fiber. The results have been published in a recent edition of Nature Communications.
According to Alan Pepper, associate professor at Texas A&M University and a co-author of the study, the team crossed a long fiber plant and a short fiber plant, then used RNAi to interfere with a particular phytochrome gene. This stronger and longer fiber could result in at least $100.00 in additional income per acre, say the researchers.
The research team – which has filed for a U.S. patent for their work – involved scientists from Texas A&M, USDA Laboratory at Mississippi State University and the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences.