Fiber quality improvement of Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, L.) from targeted interspecific sources using introgression lines and exotic Upland germplasm with the aid of marker-assisted introgression
Brown, Ismael Nino
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An apparent stagnation of fiber quality improvement in Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) is likely due to a limited priority by breeders to improve fiber quality, exacerbated by limited genetic diversity for fiber quality within G. hirsutum. Increasing competition from man-made fibers such as polyester has put additional impetus for improvement of cotton fiber quality. Extensive genetic resources exist, however, from which valuable alleles for fiber quality can be mined. In addition to divergent, unadapted, or even wild G. hirsutum, valuable QTLs have been identified in other related species within the Gossypium genus. These interspecific sources of fiber quality represent an underutilized resource within the available gene pool of G. hirsutum. While numerous QTL have been mapped and identified in interspecific populations or introgression lines, few have been verified or have progressed to the point of introgression into adapted material. This dissertation seeks to address some of these topics by examining QTL identified from interspecific sources, their interaction with elite, divergent genetic backgrounds, their genotype by environment interactions, and their application in cotton improvement.