9398 Extra Long Staple Upland Cotton

Tuesday, January 6, 2009: 1:30 PM
Salons G & M (Marriott Rivercenter Hotel)
C. Wayne Smith1, Steve Hague1 and Eric F. Hequet2, (1)Texas A&M, College Station, TX, (2)Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute - Dept. Plant & Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
An objective of U.S. cotton breeding programs is to provide raw material that processes efficiently and produces better textile products, without compromising yield. Annual domestic consumption dropped from 10.4 million bales in 1998 to 5.5 million bales in 2007.  Exports increased from 4.3 to 16.2 million bales. Increased reliance on export markets will require the U.S. to compete more effectively in price and quality. The desired minimum Upper Half Mean (UHM) fiber length in international markets is 1.10 inches (35 staple) while the traditional U.S. minimum is 1.06 inches (34 staple). To compete at this higher UHM length expectation, breeding programs should target minimums well above the international base. Extra Long Staple (ELS) upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L) germplasm lines have been developed recently by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M University as part of an effort to create germplasm with combinations of improved fiber quality, especially UHM length and fiber bundle strength. These ELS upland lines have UHM fiber length equivalent to pima (G. barbadense L.), 1.375 inches (44 staple), Fiber Bundle Strength ranging from 32 to 34 g/tex, and slightly better Standard Fineness than current non-acala upland cultivars. Spinning data suggest that this trait has the potential to produce high quality 50 count and 80 count combed yarns, expanding the potential market products from upland.  This newly rediscovered upland trait could have a major impact on maintaining upland cotton as a viable U.S. commodity in a global environment.
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