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Status of the in situ cotton germplasm in four southern states of Mexico

Ulloa, M., Stewart, J.M., Gaytán-Mascorro, A., Garcia-Castenada, E.A., Godoy-Avila, S.
Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences 2003 pp. 829-832
Gossypium, cotton, germplasm, wild plants, geographical distribution, diploidy, germplasm conservation, seed collecting, Mexico
A germplasm collection for dooryard and feral cottons representing the designated landraces of cotton and wild diploid Gossypium species related to cotton was conducted in the parts of the Mexican states of Puebla, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán in order to document the in situ status of the landraces, and the range and diversity of the wild diploid Gossypium species. The project was approved by the Cotton Germplasm Committee and funded by the USDA-ARS, National Germplasm Resource Laboratory. This germplasm does not exist in other germplasm collections and can only be obtained by collection. Knowledge of the diversity and, consequently, utilization of the genetic resources residing in these species cannot be fully realized in situ. Additionally, grazing activities and urbanization threatens the continued existence of these species if not placed in an ex situ collection. Exploration was made in compliance with Mexico's laws governing foreign access to germplasm, and in collaboration from personnel of INIFAP, Mexico. The expedition began on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002 when the four participants met in Mexico City and ended on March 20, 2002. In total seven species of Gossypium were collected including G. aridum (15), G. barbadense (9), G. gossypioides (2), G. hirsutum (52), G. laxum (5), G. lobatum (1) and G. schwendimanii (2). The numbers in parentheses are the number of accessions collected for each species. The number of accessions for the diploid species should be considered tentative until specimens have been grown and compared in a nursery. In as much as no foliage was available for the arborescent species and diversity in capsules and flowers between locations was noted, the samples need additional verification of identity. After collection seed was deposited in a Mexican permanent cotton nursery that was newly established in Iguala, Gro. In conjunction with this collaborative collection effort, samples of the germplasm were incorporated into the National Plant Germplasm System where they are curated on behalf of the U.S. Government and will be available from the USDA-ARS Gossypium Species Collection to all qualified scientists/ organizations, domestic and foreign, who are eligible to receive it.