facebook_pixel

Genome Mapping Signals Brighter Days for U.S. Cotton

From Cotton Grower Magazine – December 2014

 

If it seems like there are an abundance of new trait packages hitting the cotton market these days, it’s because there are. In 2014, Bayer CropScience introduced TwinLink to cotton. Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences plan to bring XtendFlex and the Enlist Weed Control system, respectively, to the market in the years ahead.

These traits are just a sampling of what’s currently being planned by the major research and development players in American agriculture. But as fast as these changes are seemingly hitting the market, industry insiders say this wave of technology represents only the tip of the iceberg.

A relatively new breeding tool known as genetic mapping has streamlined the trait development process such that revolutionary trait introductions could become a yearly routine. At a time when growers rely increasingly more on genetic advancements in yield and fiber quality to keep cotton economically viable, cotton breeders and researchers are excited about the possibilities.

“When trying to predict the long term benefits, the potential is unlimited,” says Joe Johnson, cotton breeder for PhytoGen. “If you look far enough down the road with molecular marker technology, the importance of the work could be on the level with the development of the mechanical cotton pickers or the cotton gin. Certainly the potential is there.

“Now that’s not going to be a short term benefit, but as we understand the cotton genome better and better, that opens up tremendous possibilities, more than I can imagine. And that’s not just for cotton, all crops will benefit from these tools,” Johnson says.

In a nutshell, genetic mapping allows researchers to more easily pinpoint the genes that carry desirable characteristics in a cotton plant. According to Johnson, some of those desirable characteristics are easier to pinpoint than others. Many characteristics associated with disease protection and nematode resistance are controlled by only one or two genes, making their introduction to commercial farming a more imminent possibility.

“We’ve known about certain specific genes for resistance for some time, it’s just that the methodology is changing to make use of those genes,” says Johnson. “That’ll be the first thing we most likely see as a result of genetic mapping. It maybe doesn’t sound as exciting as other trait introductions, because we’ve already had nematode resistance before for instance, but new methods of confirming it and applied methods of breeding have enabled us to get a much better variety paired with the trait than we would have without it.”

Breeders have their focus on other traits as well – specifically on the all-important characteristics of yield and fiber quality. The process of making significant advancements in those characteristics will be more complex, however.

“As we understand the cotton genome better, I would expect to see tools developed directly related to improving quantitative traits like yield,” says Johnson. “Many, many genes are related to yield, but if we could begin to better identify specific genes, or genetic regions associated with yield, then that would give breeders a decided advantage.”

The practice of genetic mapping isn’t entirely new to agriculture. In fact, corn researchers have a sizable head start in mapping that plant’s genome and subsequently reaping the rewards of that research -“I would consider it more in its infancy for cotton,” Johnson says – although important breakthroughs have been made in recent years.

In December of 2012, researchers at Cotton Incorporated reported a major accomplishment in decoding the cotton genome.

“This scientific breakthrough leverages new biology to put cotton on a trajectory to increase yields, fiber quality and make more efficient use of the inputs necessary to grow cotton,” the article said. It was only one of several major genetic mapping breakthroughs that have occurred since 2010. The scientific community shows no signs of slowing down this progress.

“In a nutshell, I think in the future what we’ll have is better, more efficient breeding tools that will allow us to be able to track and trace more beneficial traits than we have ever before,” Johnson says. “With traditional breeding we have done well to select and have a general idea of what we’ve got, now we will be much more precise locating desirable traits enabling us to provide a grower with varieties that have a much stronger background for many native traits as well as transgenic traits, and it’ll be because we were able to map those traits from the beginning of the breeding process up to release of a new variety.”

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Insect Control Stories
Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Insect Control

Bollworms Attack Some Texas Cotton, Sorghum

July 14, 2017

Bollworm damage to cotton and grain sorghum is ramping up across parts of Texas.

Insect Control

Results of 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey Now Online

April 26, 2017

Results of the 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey for cotton, corn and soybeans are now available online.

Insect Control

Tennessee Receives Section 18 for Transform in Cotton

April 21, 2017

The EPA has again approved the Section 18 Emergency Exemption for use of Transform WG in Tennessee to control tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

thrips
Insect Control

New Online Tool Aids in Thrips Management Decisions

April 11, 2017

A new online tool is now available to help cotton growers better predict thrips infestations and determine options for treatment.

Insect Control

Plant Bugs Off to Warm Weather Start?

April 4, 2017

Warmer than usual winter weather could mean an earlier start for plant bugs in 2017.

Insect Control

Transform Receives Exemption for Plant Bug Control in Arkansas Cotton

March 30, 2017

Arkansas has been granted a Section 18 exemption for 2017 for use of Transform WG insecticide for management of tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bayer Looking for FiberMax One Ton Club Growers for 2017

November 16, 2017

Cotton growers who produce an average of 2,000 lb/A on 20 or more acres planted to FiberMax varieties in 2017 are eligible to be part of the 13th annual FiberMax One Ton Club.

Product News

Monsanto Delays NemaStrike for Additional Review

November 2, 2017

After finding cases of skin irritation, Monsanto is pulling its nematode seed treatment NemaStrike for further product review.

Product News

Intrepid Trio: Naturally Balanced Nutrition in Every Granule

November 1, 2017

Intrepid Trio contains three essential nutrients for cotton plants.

Product News

Save Time, Increase Efficiencies with Mixmate

November 1, 2017

Mixmate from Praxidyn is a precision chemical mixing system for small farms to large enterprises.

Product News

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication

November 1, 2017

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication is committed to providing the highest level of service, honesty and integrity, regardless of project size.

Product News

Delivering Proven Performance Across the Cotton Belt

November 1, 2017

Seed varieties, traits and crop protection products from Bayer deliver proven performance to growers across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Growers Continue to Count on Americot and NexGen

November 1, 2017

Americot is dedicated to working with cotton growers throughout the Cotton Belt to provide elite performing NexGen varieties within the marketplace.

Product News

Deere Adds New Narrow Track Versions to 9RX Tractor Lineup

November 1, 2017

John Deere has added three new 9RX Narrow Track Tractors, expanding its lineup of high-horsepower machines.

Latest News
Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Insect Control

Early Whitefly Detection Key to Successful Control

July 26, 2017

Whitefly populations are unusually high in Georgia cotton fields this season, making early detection and management essential.

Insect Control

How Aggressive Should Bollworm Treatments Be?

July 18, 2017

Mississippi State entomologists offer bollworm treatment suggestions based on what has been seen in fields to date and the Bt technologies used.

Insect Control

Bollworms Attack Some Texas Cotton, Sorghum

July 14, 2017

Bollworm damage to cotton and grain sorghum is ramping up across parts of Texas.

Insect Control

Results of 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey Now Online

April 26, 2017

Results of the 2016 Insecticide Efficacy Survey for cotton, corn and soybeans are now available online.

Insect Control

Tennessee Receives Section 18 for Transform in Cotton

April 21, 2017

The EPA has again approved the Section 18 Emergency Exemption for use of Transform WG in Tennessee to control tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Insect Control

New Online Tool Aids in Thrips Management Decisions

April 11, 2017

A new online tool is now available to help cotton growers better predict thrips infestations and determine options for treatment.

Insect Control

Plant Bugs Off to Warm Weather Start?

April 4, 2017

Warmer than usual winter weather could mean an earlier start for plant bugs in 2017.

Insect Control

Transform Receives Exemption for Plant Bug Control in Arkansas Cotton

March 30, 2017

Arkansas has been granted a Section 18 exemption for 2017 for use of Transform WG insecticide for management of tarnished plant bugs in cotton.

Insect Control

Can Cover Crops Hamper Pest Management?

March 1, 2017

Growers will likely need to adjust their pest management practices to avoid crop losses when cover crops are used.

Insect Control

Keep Spider Mites in Mind When Planning Burndown

February 9, 2017

Spider mite management should be a consideration in every grower’s preplant burndown plans.

Insect Control

Insect Control Guide App Available from MS State

February 3, 2017

An app of the Mississippi State University 2017 Insect Control Guide is now available through the iTunes App Store, with an Android version coming soon.

Insect Control

Cotton Seed Treatment Choices Will Be More Important In 2017

January 26, 2017

Early season thrips control will be more important than ever in 2017 due to the introduction and anticipated use of dicamba-tolerant cotton varieties, according to Mississippi State University cotton specialists.

Insect Control

Insect Traits Evolving for Ongoing Bug Battles

September 8, 2016

As Mother Nature creates new challenges, the industry’s insect technologies must adapt.

Insect Control

When to Terminate Insecticide Applications in Cotton

August 24, 2016

The decision to terminate insect controls in cotton can be challenging in some fields, but a few basic considerations will assist in that decision.