Genetic variation and comparative analysis of thrips resistance in glandless and glanded cotton under field conditionsby Jinfa Zhang, Omololu J. Idowu, Tom Wedegaertner, S. Ed. Hughs



Agronomy and Crop Science / Horticulture / Plant Science / Genetics


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Genetic variation and comparative analysis of thrips resistance in glandless and glanded cotton under field conditions

Jinfa Zhang • Omololu J. Idowu •

Tom Wedegaertner • S. Ed. Hughs

Received: 31 December 2013 / Accepted: 26 April 2014  Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Abstract Glandless cotton can be grown for cottonseed free of toxic gossypol to be used as food and feed for non-ruminant animals. However, one of the most important limiting factors preventing its commercial production is its higher insect damage than conventional glanded cotton. Thrips is the one of the most important insect pests in the early growing season that may cause yield losses. In this study, 28, 29, 26, and 2 glandless cotton lines were compared with glanded control Acala 1517-08 and other glanded lines for resistance to the Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) in four replicated field tests each containing 32 genotypes. In the same field, 28 glanded commercial cultivars and 78 glanded breeding lines were compared with Acala 1517-08 and

Acala 1517-99 in three other tests with 32 genotypes each. The experimental layouts allowed a comprehensive comparative analysis of thrips resistance within and between glandless and glanded cotton. Overall, glandless cotton had similar or lower thrips damages than glanded cotton, indicating that the glandless trait may serve as a genetic factor for suppressing thrips damage. As compared with Acala 1517-08 which represented one of the most thrips resistant genotypes among glanded cotton tested, glandless Acala GLS and many selections from glandless germplasm were more resistant, while some were similar to Acala 1517-08, indicating that genetic factors other than the glandless trait also affect thrips resistance in cotton. The estimates for broad-sense heritability for thrips resistance were moderate, indicating that thrips resistance is selectable. This is corroborated by the identification of many thrips resistant lines from a cross between Acala 1517-08 and Acala GLS. This study has laid a foundation for a more detailed study using most resistant lines with desirable agronomic traits in multiple environments.

Keywords Upland cotton  Glandless  Thrips 



Glands containing toxic gossypol and terpenoid aldehydes are distributed in most tissues and organs of cotton (Gossypium spp.), which play an important role

J. Zhang (&)

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New

Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA e-mail:

O. J. Idowu

Department of Extension Plant Sciences, New Mexico

State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA

T. Wedegaertner

Cotton Incorporated, Cary, NC, USA

S. Ed. Hughs

Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory,

USDA-ARS, Mesilla Park, NM, USA 123


DOI 10.1007/s10681-014-1137-x in the survival of cotton during the co-evolution between cotton and its insect pests. Glandless cotton that is devoid of gossypol can produce glandless seeds for human food and non-ruminant animal feed. The glandless mutant in Upland cotton (G. hirsutum L.) is conditioned by two recessive alleles, gl2 and gl3 (McMichael 1959, 1960; Kohel 1979), while a dominant glandless trait in G. barbadense L. is controlled by a dominant allele Gle2 (Kohel and Lee 1984). Since the 1960s, extensive activities in breeding for glandless cotton have been conducted, resulting in release of numerous improved glandless germplasm lines.

Although several commercial glandless cultivars were developed by several seed companies and public breeders, glandless cotton was grown in only very limited acreage in central Texas and the Texas High

Plains in mid-1980s. The commercialization of its dehulled, roasted, whole kernel product and its associated business were short-lived due to possible allergenic reactions (Hinze and Kohel 2012). Since then, only intermittent breeding activities occurred until the late 1990s. One of the most important limiting factors preventing the commercial production of glandless cotton is its heavier insect damage than conventional glanded cotton, in addition to susceptibility to field mice and foraging by livestock and wildlife animals.

In New Mexico, Ellington et al. (1984) showed that the glandless cotton tended to support larger phytophagous populations than glanded Stoneville (STV) 7A. It was found that boll weevils (Anthonomus grandis Boheman) preferred glandless or normal-glanded strains to high-gossypol strains for feeding and oviposition (Singh and Weaver 1972), while the first-instar larvae of tobacco budworm (Helicoverpa virescens F.) avoided consuming the glands of the cotton plant (Parrot 1990). Larvae rearing on glandless cotton grew fast and gained more weight (Montandon et al. 1986, 1987; Meredith et al. 1979) and therefore had shorter developmental time (Mullins and Pieters 1982). Schmidt et al. (1988) observed that the third- and fifth-instar larvae of H. zea (Boddie) were feeding more frequently than resting on the glandless isoline of

STV 213 than glanded STV 213. In a field-based cage study, Zummo et al. (1983) showed that newly hatched larvae of H. zea caused more damage to plant parts in the glandless stocks RDC-102 and

STV 213 (gl) than in glanded STV 213 and therefore had increased growth and survival. Similarly, Lygus hesperus Knight feeding on glandless cotton had a twofold increase in growth rate and survival of nymphs, resulting in 2.5 times greater population and 57 % reduction in cotton bolls in

California (Tingey et al. 1975; Benedict et al. 1981;

Leigh et al. 1985). In Mississippi, Meredith et al. (1979) showed that glandless cotton suffered higher yield loss with infestation from tarnished plant bug (TPB), Lygus llnenlaris Palisot de Beauvois than without TPB. Glandless cotton is also more sensitive to other insects such as twospotted spider mites,

Tetranychus urticae Koch (Schuster et al. 1972;

Bailey and Meredith 1983). When the glandless cotton germplasm was introduced and tested in other countries, insect pressure was found to be higher in glandless cotton than in glanded cotton. For example, in India, Bhatnagar and Sharma (1991) found that glandless genotypes were heavily infested with all the sucking pests studied throughout the season including Amrasca biguttula biguttula [(A. devastans (Dist.)], Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) and Thrips tabaci