Status of the USA cotton germplasm collection and crop vulnerability

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Abstract

The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) is a cooperative effort among State, Federal and Private organizations aimed at preserving one of agriculture's greatest assets: plant genetic diversity. The NPGS serves the scientific community by collecting, storing, and distributing germplasm as well as maintaining a searchable database of trait descriptors. Serving the NPGS, a Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) is elected for each crop and is comprised of a group of scientists concerned with development, maintenance, characterization, and utilization of germplasm collections. Each CGC serves in an advisory role and provides a status report every seven years to determine scientific efforts, adequacy of germplasm base representation, and progress in breeding through utilization of germplasm. In addition, each committee can call attention to areas of concerns regarding facilities and staffing associated with the maintenance, collection, and taxonomic activities for a specific crop within the system. The following report was developed by the CGC for cotton and provides a record of collections, activities, concerns, crop vulnerabilities, and recommendations associated with the cotton collection for the period 1997–2005. Information provided within this document is a much expanded and detailed description of a report provided to the NPGS and includes the most exhaustive citation of germplasm depositions and research activity descriptions available anywhere in the USA for this time period. This documentation will be a valuable resource to breeders, geneticists, and taxonomists with an interest in this important food and fiber crop.

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