Biomedical and Biological Engineering | Article | Published 2007-10-09
The level of genetic diversity of crop species is an essential element of sustainable crop production. Cotton productivity and the future of cotton breeding efforts also depend on genetic diversity of cotton gene pools. The amplitude of genetic diversity of cotton (Gossypium species) is exclusively wide, but cotton researchers and producers are concerned with the narrow genetic base of cultivated cotton germplasm that caused recent cotton yield and quality declines. These declines, however, is largely due to challenges and the lack of innovative tools to effectively exploit genetic diversity of Gossypium species. The most effective utilization of genetic diversity of Gossypium species further requires modern genomics technologies that reveal the molecular basis of genetic variations of agronomic importance. Ongoing efforts toward sequencing cotton genome (s) are the pivotal step that will facilitate the fine-scale mapping and better utilization of functionally significant variations in cotton gene pools. Here, we briefly review the status of worldwide cotton germplasm collections, the genetic base of cotton species, the examples and challenges of exploiting genetic diversity, genomics resources &efforts, and future perspectives in effective exploiting genetic diversity in cotton.