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Crop Biotech Update

Cotton Gene Enhances Brown Fiber Quality

November 28, 2018

Brown-colored cotton fiber is increasing in importance because it skips dyeing and bleaching during textile processing. This characteristic makes it more eco-friendly than white cotton and chemical fibers. However, studies have shown that the brown pigment is associated with low yield and low fiber quality. Thus, studying the biochemical and molecular basis of pigmentation is important to improve the color, productivity, and fiber quality of brown-fiber cotton and broaden its applications.

Researcher Qian Yan from Southwest University in China and colleagues perform gene expression and transgenic analyses of a cotton version of an Arabidopsis gene TT2, which is involved in the synthesis of the brown pigment in cotton fiber. This cotton gene called GhTT23A is observed to be involved in the activation of genes involved in brown pigment synthesis. The researchers also find that increasing the amount of this gene during the stage of secondary wall thickening resulted in brown mature fibers with fiber quality and lint percentage almost the same as the white fiber counterpart. Therefore, this gene may be a key to improve the yield and quality of brown fiber cotton.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.