[Background] Evaluating phenotypic traits is very important for the selection of elite lines in Gossypium hirsutum L. Cotton breeders are interested in using diverse genotypes in hybridization that can segregate for traits of interested with the possibility of selection and genetic gain. Information on phenotypic and molecular diversity helps the breeders for parental selection.
[Methods] In this study, 719 global collections of G. hirsutum L. were evaluated for five fibre-related traits during two consecutive years in eight different environments. A series of phenotypic data for fibre quality traits were obtained and the elite accessions were further screened using principal component analysis and phylogenetic tree construction based on single nucleotide polymorphism markers.
[Results] We found that fibre quality traits showed a wide range of variation among the G. hirsutum accessions over 2 years. In general, accessions from outside China tended to have higher fibre length (FL) and fibre strength (FS) than did Chinese accessions. Among different regional accessions in China, North/Northwest accessions tended to have the highest FL, FS and best fibre macronaire. By assessing five fibre quality traits over 2 years with genotypic data, 31 elite germplasms reaching double-thirty quality values (FL ≥ 30 mm and FS ≥ 30 cN·tex− 1) were selected.
[Conclusions] This study provided a detailed phenotypic diversity description of a population representing a wide range of upland cotton germplasm. Our findings provide useful information about possible elite fibre quality parents for cotton breeding programs.
[Title] Evaluation of the genetic diversity of fibre quality traits in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) inferred from phenotypic variations
[Authors] SUN Zhengwen, WANG Xingfen, LIU Zhengwen, GU Qishen, ZHANG Yan, LI Zhikun, KE Huifeng, YANG Jun, WU Jinhua, WU Liqiang, ZHANG Guiyin and MA Zhiying
Journal of Cotton Research. 2019; 2:22