Researchers Say Cotton Genome Will Be Decoded Soon
Researchers are making incredible progress in their search for ways to increase cotton yield and qualit – and even create breeds that produce waterproof lint.
August 22, 2012
One of the best stories in all of the cotton industry in recent years is the continued resurgence of Australia. After a long period of down years, largely due to inclement weather and water shortages, the country has come back strong and the 2012/13 season could set a new record by producing almost 5 million bales. Now more good news is coming from “Down Under” regarding the amazing steps scientists have made in recent years.
Dr. Danny Llewellyn, speaking at the Australian Cotton Conference on the Queensland Gold Coast, says that researchers are making incredible progress in their search for ways to increase yield and quality.
He says it will only be a matter of months before scientists map the complete cotton genome, which will open the door to endless breeding possibilities. He cited cotton bred to be waterproof as one example of a coming breakthrough.
"Marker technology is changing, DNA sequencing technology is changing, and everything is becoming more rapid,” said Dr. Llewellyn, a research scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). “I think all of those new advancements will help us in our breeding."
About 90% of Australia’s cotton comes from genetically modified plants, which have contributed mightily to the huge decrease in the use of chemicals, including pesticides.
Be sure to watch for more coverage of the Australian Cotton Conference in Cotton International’s upcoming Q3 issue!