Effects of exotic genotypes and genetic backgrounds on fiber quality and plant architectural traits in Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
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The genetic diversity of the world’s cultivated cotton gene pool is poor due to a series of bottlenecks caused by migration, domestication and selection. Low genetic diversity of cultivated cotton is a major hindrance to genetic improvement of the crop. Utilization of wild and primitive accessions of cotton in breeding programs would allow the introduction of useful and favorable alleles to the cultivated gene pool and identification of significant associations between genetic markers and traits of interest. In our study, we used three primitive cotton genotypes collected from different parts Mexico and Guatemala and converted to day-neutral flowering to create experimental populations. We screened the segregating F2 and F2:3 generations of these populations with 85 polymorphic SSR markers selected from 18 “hotspot” regions in the cotton genome rich in fiber quality quantitative trait loci (QTLs). We investigated the association of these markers with six different fiber quality traits as well as with yield related and morphological/ plant architectural traits in those populations. Significant associations were identified many traits of interest in different population for different years.