Polyploid formation created unique avenues for response to selection in Gossypium (cotton)

Chun Xiao Jiang, Robert J. Wright, Kamal M. El-Zik, Andrew H. Paterson

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A detailed restriction fragment length polymorphism map was used to determine the chromosomal locations and subgenomic distributions of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) segregating in a cross between cultivars of allotetraploid (AADD) Gossypium hirsutum ('Upland' cotton) and Gossypium barbadense ('Sea Island,' 'Pima,' or 'Egyptian' cotton) that differ markedly in the quality and quantity of seed epidermal fibers. Most QTLs influencing fiber quality and yield are located on the 'D' subgenome, derived from an ancestor that does not produce spinnable fibers. D subgenome QTLs may partly account for the fact that domestication and breeding of tetraploid cottons has resulted in fiber yield and quality levels superior to those achieved by parallel improvement of 'A' genome diploid cottons. The merger of two genomes with different evolutionary histories in a common nucleus appears to offer unique avenues for phenotypic response to selection. This may partly compensate of reduction in quantitative variation associated with polyploid formation and be one basis for the prominence of polyploids among extant angiosperms. These findings impel molecular dissection of the roles of divergent subgenomes in quantitative inheritance in many other polyploids and further exploration of both 'synthetic' polyploids and exotic diploid genotypes for agriculturally useful variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4419-4424
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 14 1998


  • Comparative quantitative trait locus analysis
  • Cotton fiber quality
  • Crop evolution
  • Iintergenomic interactions
  • Quantitative variation


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