Chemical mutagenesis of Arabidopsis has had a tremendous impact on the application of molecular biology to higher plants. Our basic hypothesis is that chemical mutagenesis and subsequent selection can have an equivalent impact on developing new genes that enhance the fiber and other economically important traits of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). To test this hypothesis, we have extensively evaluated a population of the cultivar HS 200 which was treated with 3% v/v Ethyl Methanesulfonate (EMS). The fiber of 1997 M3 plants of this population had an extremely wide range in HVI fiber characteristics. The M4 and M5 generation of 115 selected lines were evaluated in 1996 and 1997 for HVI fiber characteristics. This process identified two mutant lines (202 and 271) which produce fiber approximately 0.7 inches longer than the parent cultivar. These mutants could be used to enhance fiber quality of cotton grown on the Texas High Plains.