Scientists identify new gene related to major cotton disease

Xinhua

19:11, September 23, 2019(GTM +8)

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have identified a new gene related to cotton Verticillium Wilt, one of the major cotton diseases, providing a reference for the breeding of cotton varieties resistant to the disease.

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A farmer picks cotton in a field in Hami, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 8, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)

Verticillium Wilt, caused by the fungal Verticillium dahliae, is one of the most devastating diseases of upland cotton. It is difficult to breed resistant varieties through traditional breeding methods and identifying key genes related to Verticillium Wilt resistance is of great significance.

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences found that the gene GhRPL18A-6 is involved in the disease resistance regulation of cotton and over-expression of the gene significantly improved Verticillium Wilt resistance in upland cotton.

The research provides insight into the mechanisms of resistance to Verticillium Wilt as well as novel germplasm resources for molecular breeding of resistant cotton varieties.

The research was published online in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.