About this Research Topic
Cotton is one of the most important crops in the world due to its universal use of raw fibers in the textile industry. India, China, United States, and Brazil produce 75% of cotton production in the world. The global cotton production was 114.1 million bales in 2020-2021, down from 122.1 million bales in 2019-2020. The United States remain a key cotton exporter with 15.5 million bales in 2021. China imported 11 million bales in 2021, which represents a 54.1% increase from 2020. Overall, the world consumed 117.2 million bales of cotton in 2021, exceeding the production by 2.7%.
The global cotton production is facing challenges in the 21st century. With a rapid increase in human population and the loss of arable land due to soil erosion, soil salinization, harsher climate conditions, and urbanization, the demand for promoting cotton yield is increasing dramatically. Identifying limiting factors for increasing yield is critical to establishing research initiatives on tackling the challenges in cotton production. The major limiting factors for increasing yield have been identified by cotton breeders over decades of studies and include biotic and abiotic stresses, global climate change, genotype by environmental interactions, limited germplasm resources, and negative association between yield and fiber quality.
The main purpose of cotton breeding is to develop genetically improved cultivars for yield and fiber quality by overcoming adversities. In this Research Topic, we aim to demonstrate the trends and the new approaches in cotton breeding towards development of new cultivars. The themes that will be covered are related to research efforts in understanding the genetic basis of interesting traits under differential environments, improving breeding efficiency, enhancing germplasm, and broadening genetic base in cotton germplasm.
Articles on the following sub-themes are welcome:
- History of research in cotton breeding in some major production countries aimed at identifying trends towards new approaches for genetically improved cultivars;
- Trends in the development of resistant/tolerant cultivars/germplasm to abiotic and biotic stress;
- Genetic and molecular basis of heterosis in hybrid cotton;
- Impacts of climate change on cotton production;
- Mutation cotton breeding;
- Development of new cytology and biotechnology tools and their utilization in cotton breeding.
Keywords: cotton breeding
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