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Genetic variation and comparative analysis of thrips resistance in glandless and glanded cotton under field conditions

Zhang, Jinfa, Idowu, Omololu J., Wedegaertner, Tom, Hughs, S. Ed.
Euphytica 2014 v.199 no.3 pp. 373-383
Frankliniella occidentalis, agronomic traits, breeding lines, correlation, cotton, cottonseed, cultivars, genetic variation, genotype, germplasm, gossypol, growing season, heritability, insect pests, monogastric livestock, toxicity
Glandless cotton can be grown for cottonseed free of toxic gossypol to be used as food and feed for non-ruminant animals. However, one of the most important limiting factors preventing its commercial production is its higher insect damage than conventional glanded cotton. Thrips is the one of the most important insect pests in the early growing season that may cause yield losses. In this study, 28, 29, 26, and 2 glandless cotton lines were compared with glanded control Acala 1517-08 and other glanded lines for resistance to the Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) in four replicated field tests each containing 32 genotypes. In the same field, 28 glanded commercial cultivars and 78 glanded breeding lines were compared with Acala 1517-08 and Acala 1517-99 in three other tests with 32 genotypes each. The experimental layouts allowed a comprehensive comparative analysis of thrips resistance within and between glandless and glanded cotton. Overall, glandless cotton had similar or lower thrips damages than glanded cotton, indicating that the glandless trait may serve as a genetic factor for suppressing thrips damage. As compared with Acala 1517-08 which represented one of the most thrips resistant genotypes among glanded cotton tested, glandless Acala GLS and many selections from glandless germplasm were more resistant, while some were similar to Acala 1517-08, indicating that genetic factors other than the glandless trait also affect thrips resistance in cotton. The estimates for broad-sense heritability for thrips resistance were moderate, indicating that thrips resistance is selectable. This is corroborated by the identification of many thrips resistant lines from a cross between Acala 1517-08 and Acala GLS. This study has laid a foundation for a more detailed study using most resistant lines with desirable agronomic traits in multiple environments.