Improvement of novel traits in cotton through chemical mutagenesis



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Cotton is the world's most valuable natural fiber crop. The importance of producing cotton with very high quality fiber properties has become increasingly important over the last few decades. However, improvement of these traits may be repressed because cotton lacks genetic diversity typically seen in other crop species. A total of 3,122 M5 breeding lines resulting from ethyl methansulfante (EMS) mutagenesis of two upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) cultivars (TAM 94L-25 and Acala 1517-99) where characterized for HVI fiber quality characteristics and other basic agronomic components. Across most measured traits , the phenotypic values of the mutant lines consistently deviated significantly from the means of the parental lines (Acala 1517-99 and Tam 94L-25). Multi-year replicated studies at Lubbock, Texas confirmed the genetic bases for these differences, showing significant correlations between lines across years. For all fiber traits, the mutant lines exhibited substantial and statistically significant deviations from the parental population. This indicates that a fiber traits were genetically enhanced through mutation breeding methods. In fact, lines were occasionally selected for improvement of two or more fiber quality traits, which suggests the pleiotropic effects of some mutations. It could be advantageous for cotton breeders to incorporate some of these traits into their breeding programs and to use these lines to develop genetic markers for fiber quality.

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Mutagenesis, Cotton, Breeding, Fiber Quality, HVI, Fatty Acids, Cold Tolerance, Cottonseed, Palmitic Acid