Indexed on: 08 Dec '15Published on: 08 Dec '15Published in: Euphytica
The complex genetic and environmental control of lint fiber yield and quality of cotton has long motivated interest in whether information from genetically-simpler trichome variations might contribute knowledge salient to cotton improvement. To investigate this question, from 3164 M5 lines resulting from EMS mutagenesis of two Gossypium hirsutum breeding lines, TAM 94L25 and Acala 1517-99, 106 lines with leaf and stem trichome variations and 55 control lines were further studied to investigate associations between trichome variation and lint fiber development. Although only weak correlation was found between stem/leaf trichome and fiber traits, we still found that among nine fiber traits measured in replicated trials, lines with mutations affecting stem trichome development had significant alterations for seven traits in the TAM 94L25 mutants, and six in the Acala 1517-99 mutants. While the small number of leaf trichome mutants found offered only minimal statistical power to resolve differences, mutant lines had significant alterations for three of the nine traits in the TAM 94L25 mutants, and two in the Acala 1517-99 mutants. In summary, mutants in leaf and/or stem trichome development often have altered lint fiber characteristics, supporting the hypothesis that there is considerable overlap in the sets of genetic factors acting in the development of these analogous organs. Moreover, visual selection of trichome mutants may be an effective screen to identify potential new alleles affecting lint fiber development.