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Bioengineering Fiber Quality: Molecular Determinants of Fiber Length and Strength

Thea A. Wilkins


In order to dissect the molecular mechanism of fiber development, and hence, fiber quality, our efforts continue to focus on investigating the regulation of genes with a pivotal role in turgor-driven cell expansion. Ultrastructural data and molecular studies characterizing molecular and cellular events associated with fiber development revealed that fiber expansion encompasses four distinct substages. The parallel between that rate of fiber expansion and expression of vacuolar H+-ATPase subunits identifies expression patterns of "expansion" genes in developing cotton fibers. Future efforts will be directed towards the identification and isolation of the regulatory factor(s) that activate the V-ATPase and other expansion-related genes as a means to manipulate the rate and/or duration of expansion in developing cotton fibers to enhance fiber quality via genetic engineering.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1679 - 1680
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998