Biotech Updates

Cotton Futures in Uzbekistan

February 4, 2011

Uzbekistan is the world's third largest cotton exporter after the US and Australia. Maintaining this status for Uzbekistan is quite a challenge for Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov, a professor at the Institute of Genetics and Plant Experimental Biology of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences. In this country, the use of a limited number of cultivars with the same germplasm is dangerous because cotton plants become highly vulnerable to pathogens and pests.

New varieties of cotton need to be developed from other sources of germplasm that have good fiber quality, optimum timing of the flowering and leaf defoliation, and desirable structure and strength of stems and roots. To this end, Abdurakhmonov and his colleagues use molecular biological techniques to examine the germplasm of Uzbekistan's cotton. They hope to understand the genetic diversity of the cotton germplasm available in the country.

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