Review. Gossypium genomics: Trends, scope, and utilization for cotton improvement (Trends Plant Sci)

Cotton (Gossypium spp.) provides the world’s most important natural fiber, and I suspect with our growing realization of the problems with plastics there will be still more demand for it. Yang et al. review the current state of Gossypium genomics. As a crop that has been domesticated for millennia, it’s not surprising that its genomic architecture is complex. The genus comprises approximately 45 diploid and seven tetraploid species (two of which account for 90% of fibre production), and is considered a good model for the origin, evolution, and domestication of polyploids. This complexity has hindered genomic-informed breeding, but progress has been made recently.  Key questions being addressed include the molecular network underpinning fiber production and climate resiliency. The authors also discuss the potential of genome editing and de novo domestication as tools for cotton improvement. (Summary by Mary Williams)  Trends Plant Sci. 10.1016/j.tplants.2019.12.011