Growing cotton in space could generate crop varieties with stronger fiber, better drought tolerance and disease resistance

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HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology teamed up with several partners in a series of research collaborations, grants, and projects. Their mission: to send cotton to space which they can use for genetic sequencing.

Genomics is a tool that can unlock the undiscovered potential of plants. In the case of cotton, gene sequencing can unravel the possibilities of developing varieties with stronger fiber, better drought tolerance or resistance, or even less water consumption …. [The] objective is to compare the differences of space-grown cotton with that from Earth.

HGSC researchers are looking into the idea that cultivating cotton in zero gravity may help them identify and see any alterations in the genetics or epigenetics of transformation that they can use to compare with the cotton grown on earth.

Related article:  Mars conundrum: How do we explore without contaminating the Red Planet?

By identifying …. subtle changes in the genomics of cotton grown from different places and environment[s], the researchers may track down the genetic reasons why a certain crop may regenerate faster, or why it may show hardier drought resistance. This may also lead to finding cotton plants that adopt new traits faster.

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