Scientists Map Cotton Genome

An international consortium of researchers from 31 institutions, led by the University of Georgia in the United States, were able to track the first "gold-standard" genome sequence for cotton. In the Dec. 20 edition of the journal Nature, the research team presented a high-quality draft assembly of the simplest cotton genome—known scientifically as Gossypium raimondii.

The team also compared the genome from its ancestral species to several other sets of cotton data contributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The results have allowed the researchers to trace the evolution of cotton over millions of years from wild varieties to the domesticated species now associated with textile production.

Aside from fabrics, cotton is also a crop of interest for bioenergy researchers as the cotton strand is composed of more than two dozen coils of cellulose, a target biomass for next-generation biofuels.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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