A genetic bottleneck in the 'evolution under domestication' of upland cotton Gossypium hirsutum L. examined using DNA fingerprinting Academic Article uri icon


  • Reliable information about the evolutionary and genetic relationships of various germplasm resources is essential to the establishment of rational strategies for crop improvement. We used AFLPs to study the genetic relationships of 43 cultivars of Gossypium hirsutum representative of the genomic composition of modern 'Up-land' cotton. The study also included representatives of the related tetraploid species Gossypium barbadense, as well as the diploid species Gossypium raimondii, Gossypium incanum, Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium arboreum. We tested 20 primer combinations that resulted in a total of 3,178 fragments. At the species level, and above, genetic similarities based on AFLPs were in agreement with the known taxonomic relationships. Similarity indices ranged from 0.25 to 0.99. Representatives of the G. hirsutum germplasm resources utilized in North America, including secondary accessions collected by breeders in Central America ('Acala', 'Tuxtla', 'Kekchi') and the southwestern US ('Hopi Moencopi'), formed a single cluster with exceedingly limited genetic diversity (with many pairwise similarity indices >0.96) We concluded that these accessions were derived from the same genetic pool. The early maturing or 'latifolium' or 'Mexican Highlands' cultigens from which these cultivars were derived appear to have had extremely limited genetic diversity, perhaps as a result of a severe genetic bottleneck resulting from the selection pressures of domestication. Outside of the major G. hirsutum cluster, well-supported phylogenies were inferred. Inside this cluster, phylogenies were obscured by limited diversity, reticulation and lineage sorting. The implications of these findings for cotton improvement are discussed.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Iqbal, M. J., Reddy, O., El-Zik, K. M., & Pepper, A. E.

citation count

  • 138

complete list of authors

  • Iqbal, MJ||Reddy, OUK||El-Zik, KM||Pepper, AE

publication date

  • September 2001