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
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
'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.