The Cotton Diversity Database

funded by
the United States Department of Agriculture (IFAFS)

Background and Goals:

The Cotton Diversity Database was developed as one component of a USDA funded IFAFS project, "Reducing the genetic vulnerability of Cotton".

Genetic vulnerability is a complex problem that results from a combination of a crop's evolutionary history, trends in breeding and biotechnology practices, and grower decisions based on inadequate information being available, all responding to the inevitable pressures of processor and consumer preferences. Genetic vulnerability reduces the ability of breeders to provide low-cost intrinsic genetic solutions to biotic and abiotic hazards, or new needs in agronomics or quality.

A solution requires integration of research, education, and extension activities. Such a solution must first gain the partnership of stakeholders to take steps that can be implemented quickly with discernible results, and elicit scientific and behavioural changes that outlive the funding period.

We will approach this goal through three major activities:

  • A Web-based resource that incorporates pedigree and molecular data to provide objective information about relatedness of both existing and new germplasm, as both a management tool for producers to reduce field genetic uniformity, and a research tool for scientists to identify chromosomal regions that are under selection.
  • 'Pre-breeding' of exotic germplasm to render it 'user-friendly' for cotton improvement, identification of genes of high priority for use in elite cotton genotypes, and development of simplified genomic tools for accelerating transfer of these genes to exotic germplasm.
  • A series of workshops, presentations, and publications to disseminate this information and educate stakeholders in its usage.
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