Schwartz, Brian Matthew (2005-12). Evaluation of the genetic gain in upland cotton during the twentieth century. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Genetic gain studies in the past have been used to evaluate the historical improvement of different traits and give insight into what magnitudes of gain might be possible in the future. Additionally, they have been carried out to defend the role of genetics during periods of stagnant or decreasing yield trends. This study was conducted over a 2-year period (2003 and 2004) and included nine current or obsolete cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars grown in 5 plant densities designed to evaluate varying levels of interplant competition. Plant densities were single plant culture with plants spaced 3m x 3m, 2m x 2m, 1m x 1m, 1m x 0.3m, and two commercial populations with plants spaced 1m x 0.1m. Results were analyzed for each trait to determine whether genetic gains are interrelated with tolerance to interplant competition or strictly under genetic control. The rates of genetic gain for lint yield were highest in the 1m x 0.1m, 1m x 0.3m, and 1m x 1m treatment with slopes of 8.7, 8.2, and 7.1 kg ha-1 yr-1 respectively. The slopes were each significantly smaller in the 2m x 2m and 3m x 3m spaced populations with gains of 3.6 and 1.5 kg ha-1 yr-1 respectively, implying that for lint yield, genetic gains have been made for tolerance to interplant competition. Similarly, modern maize hybrids only out perform obsolete hybrids at higher plant densities. Genetic gain for lint yield, fiber length, fiber strength, and fiber micronaire made in the context of tolerance to interplant competition is due in large part to the excellent performance of Deltapine 491 (2002) at higher plant populations.

ETD Chair

publication date

  • December 2005