Responses of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Lines to Irrigated and Rainfed Conditions of Texas High Plains. Academic Article uri icon


  • Understanding drought stress responses and the identification of phenotypic traits associated with drought are key factors in breeding for sustainable cotton production in limited irrigation water of semi-arid environments. The objective of this study was to evaluate the responses of upland cotton lines to rainfed and irrigated conditions. We compared selected agronomic traits over time, final yield and fiber quality of cotton lines grown in irrigated and rainfed trials. Under rainfed conditions, the average number of squares per plant sharply declined during weeks 10 to 14 while the average number of bolls per plant significantly reduced during weeks 13 to 15 after planting. Therefore, weeks 10 to 14 and weeks 13 to 15 are critical plant growth stages to differentiate among upland cotton lines for square and boll set, respectively, under drought stress. Variation in square and boll set during this stage may translate into variable lint percent, lint yield and fiber properties under water-limited conditions. Lint yield and fiber quality were markedly affected under rainfed conditions in all cotton lines tested. Despite significantly reduced lint yield in rainfed trials, some cotton lines including 11-21-703S, 06-46-153P, CS 50, L23, FM 989 and DP 491 performed relatively well under stress compared to other cotton lines. The results also reveal that cotton lines show variable responses for fiber properties under irrigated and rainfed trials. Breeding line 12-8-103S produced long, uniform and strong fibers under both irrigated and rainfed conditions. The significant variation observed among cotton genotypes for agronomic characteristics, yield and fiber quality under rainfed conditions indicate potential to breed cotton for improved drought tolerance.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Ayele, A. G., Dever, J. K., Kelly, C. M., Sheehan, M., Morgan, V., & Payton, P.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Ayele, Addissu G||Dever, Jane K||Kelly, Carol M||Sheehan, Monica||Morgan, Valerie||Payton, Paxton

publication date

  • November 2020


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