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An overview of genetic and hormonal control of cotton fiber development.

Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmad Ali Shahid, Salah Ud Din, Sidra Akhtar Ammara Ahad, Abdul Qayyum Rao, Kamran Shehzad Bajwa, Muhammad Azmat Ullah Khan, Muhammad Bilal Sarwar and Tayyab Husnain

Cotton being white gold for textile industry faces a severe problem of low fiber quality. Pakistan imports about 55,000 tons of long length cotton fiber for which 157 million USD is spent every year. Cotton fiber is a seed trichome that originates as an extension from epidermal layers of the seed coat and elongates to 2.5 – 3.0 cm in about 16 days post anthesis (DPA).Conventional approaches like breeding have not proven to be of much success in fulfilling the requirement of fiber quality. Current approach in molecular studies have helped to describe genes involved in fiber elongation such as CEL, CelA1, CelA1, Exp1, ACT 1, BG, Pel, SuS1, LPT3, GhE6, pGhEX1, GhCESA1, and aquaporins in addition to transcription factors like MYB, WRKY, AP2/EREBP, C2H2 and bHLH families, which might have vital role in fiber cell initiation. Besides these different genes, phytohormones also have a progressive role in fiber development. Among other factors, the temperature is one of the limiting factors that directly influence cotton boll maturation and fiber elongation. The optimum temperature required for fiber elongation is slightly lower than that required for boll maturation. Cotton fiber is pure cellulose, a type of carbohydrates, which are influenced by inactivation of invertase enzyme at high temperature. Denaturation of Invertase results in poor fiber characteristics. Modern trends in molecular mechanisms that govern fiber development focus on elongation processes by regulating redox levels. Moreover GAST1-like, Cop1/BONZAI and Pex1, highly contribute to the regulation of fiber cell elongation by controlling H2O2 levels under cell stress. Over expression of one or multiple fiber-related traits through genetic modification could be an excellent strategy to overcome the problem of low fiber quality in cotton.

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