By admin       2018-07-27

Cotton growers and ginners are asking seed companies and their cotton breeders to assist in commercialization of ultra-low gossypol cottonseed, and to work toward increasing seed size in new cotton varieties — both goals aimed at increasing the value of cottonseed to growers and ginners. The Delta Council, in a resolution approved at the recent joint meeting of the organization’s Ginning and Cotton Quality Improvement Committee and the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, noted that U.S. cotton growers “have invested over $5 million and 20 years of research in creating ultra-low gossypol cottonseed (ULGCS) and advancing it to full U.S. deregulation, which means it can now be planted, grown, processed, and consumed by people and animals in the U.S. without any restrictions.” Livestock and human food uses of cottonseed had been previously limited because gossypol, a toxic substance that helps protect the cotton plant from pests, limited the use of cottonseed, a highly rich protein source. Dr. Keerti S. Rathore, professor at the Texas A&M Institute for Plant Genomics and BiotechnologyTexas A&M, who has worked more than two decades to improve the nutritional qualities of cottonseed, used gene silencing technology to develop varieties in which gossypol is silenced in the seed, but remains active in the rest of the plant. “In order to commercialize ULGCS in the U.S.,” the Delta Council resolution says, “licenses to certain patents owned or controlled by one or more of the major seed companies are required. We encourage these seed companies to provide Cotton Incorporated the required licenses so the market value and utilization of U.S. cottonseed can be greatly expanded through commercialization of ULGCS.”

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