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Breeding Potential of Elite Pee Dee Germplasm in Upland Cotton Breeding Programs

B. T. Campbell, D. B. Weaver, R. Sharpe, J. Wu, D. C. Jones
Crop science 2013 v.53 no.3 pp. 894-905
Agricultural Research Service, Gossypium hirsutum, agronomic traits, cotton, cultivars, fiber quality, genetic improvement, germplasm, hybrids, progeny
Successful plant breeding programs begin with parental line selection. Effective parental line selection is facilitated when the breeding potential of candidate parental lines is known. Using topcross families involving germplasm from eight U.S. public cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) breeding programs, we evaluated the breeding potential of recently developed, elite Pee Dee germplasm. Based on parental line mean performance, hybrid performance, and genetic effect estimates, the breeding potential for recently developed, elite Pee Dee germplasm was similar to or better than the breeding potential of two well-known, commercial cultivars. Results suggest that crosses involving germplasm from the USDA-ARS, Stoneville, MS, and USDA-ARS, Maricopa, AZ, cotton germplasm enhancement programs offer high fiber quality potential. In addition, our results suggest that recently developed, elite Pee Dee germplasm can be used to generate offspring with a lessened or absent negative relationship between agronomic performance and fiber quality. Cotton breeders can use the information provided herein to facilitate their efforts to develop elite breeding lines, recurrent parents, and/or commercial cultivars.