Cotton genome offers clues for fiber improvement

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From the stockings decorating mantles to the new outfits in display windows calling to shoppers, cotton is woven into the fabric of the holiday season. For bioenergy researchers, however, fiber composition matters more than color and texture as each cotton strand is composed of more than two dozen coils of cellulose, a target biomass for next-generation biofuels.

In the Dec. 20, 2012 edition ofNature, an international consortium of researchers from 31 institutions including a team from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) present a high-quality draft assembly of the simplest cotton (Gossypium raimondii) genome. Additionally, the team compared the genome from this ancestral species indigenous to the Americas to several other sets of cotton data contributed by the U.S. Department  of Agriculture (USDA). The results have allowed the researchers to trace the evolution of cotton over millions of years from wild varieties to the domesticated species that are now associated with textile production.

View the original article here: Unraveling the Threads: Simplest Cotton Genome Offers Clues for Fiber Improvements

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