Biomedical and Biological Engineering | Article | Published 2010-08-01
The cultivated Gossypium spp.(cotton) represents the single most important, natural fiber crop in the world. In addition to its fiber, the oil and protein portion of the cottonseed also represents significant economic value. To protect the worldwide economic value of cotton fiber and cotton byproducts, coordinated efforts to collect and maintain cotton genetic resources have increased over the last 100 yr. The classified genetic resources of cotton are extensive and include five tetraploid species in the primary gene pool, 20 diploid species in the secondary gene pool, and 25 diploid species in the tertiary gene pool. This report provides information on the status and contents of eight major cotton germplasm collections present across the world. Based on the findings of this report, a number of classified Gossypium species are not maintained in these collections, and several are underrepresented and vulnerable to extinction. This report presents several critical challenges and opportunities facing international efforts to enhance and preserve the world’s Gossypium genetic resources. Multinational communication and collaboration are essential to protect, secure, and evaluate the global cotton germplasm resources. Without global, collaborative efforts, the rarest and most unique cotton germplasm resources are vulnerable to extinction.
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