Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breeding Heat-Tolerant Cotton

Date:
March 12, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Some plants like it hot. Cotton with superior heat tolerance can be a profitable crop for warmer climates, so scientists are identifying tolerance-specific genetic selection tools to assist breeding efforts. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to differentiate between heat tolerance and heat avoidance simply by examining the quantity and quality of final crop yields. Heat avoidance refers to characteristics that enable a plant to withstand the heat with similar, but less reliable, results--for example, by shifting the bulk of metabolic activity to cooler, evening periods.

Plant geneticist Richard Percy and plant physiologist Steven Crafts-Brandner inspect cotton plants for their fruit retention under heat stress conditions.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Some plants like it hot. Cotton with superior heat tolerance can be a profitable crop for warmer climates, so Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are identifying tolerance-specific genetic selection tools to assist breeding efforts.

Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to differentiate between heat tolerance and heat avoidance simply by examining the quantity and quality of final crop yields. Heat avoidance refers to characteristics that enable a plant to withstand the heat with similar, but less reliable, results—for example, by shifting the bulk of metabolic activity to cooler, evening periods.

At the U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz., ARS scientists are investigating the process known as "dark respiration." This research could make it easier to differentiate between heat-tolerant and heat-avoidant plants.

Dark respiration is a continuous process in which mitochondria within a plant's cells oxidize carbohydrates to create energy. Cotton plants make more starch during the day than they require for growth. The excess starch is stored in plant cells' chloroplasts, where photosynthesis occurs. At night, that starch is broken down via respiration and other metabolic processes and used to support new growth, such as cotton bolls.

To determine the relationship between efficient nocturnal carbon use and heat tolerance, plant physiologist Steven Crafts-Brandner and plant geneticist Richard Percy—now with the ARS Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center in College Station, Texas—selected three upland and three pima cotton cultivars, choosing a mix of heat-tolerant and heat-susceptible plants. They have been monitoring the cultivars' rates of dark respiration and photosynthesis throughout the day.

Percy and Crafts-Brandner have already made some significant observations. For example, the cultivars with the greatest heat tolerance generally have lower rates of dark respiration and more efficient use of carbohydrates. If ongoing studies support these observations, the scientists may be able to use these traits to improve the cotton breeding program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Breeding Heat-Tolerant Cotton." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307083038.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, March 12). Breeding Heat-Tolerant Cotton. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307083038.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Breeding Heat-Tolerant Cotton." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307083038.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Two white lion cubs were born in Belgrade zoo three weeks ago. White lions are a rare mutation of a species found in South Africa and some cultures consider them divine. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

AP (Oct. 16, 2014) With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, craft makers are trying to keep up with demand and apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Buzz60 (Oct. 16, 2014) Garfi is one frowny, feisty feline - downright angry! Ko Im (@koimtv) introduces us to the latest animal celebrity taking over the Internet. You can follow more of Garfi's adventures on Twitter (@MeetGarfi) and Facebook (Garfi). Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins