When cotton seed development is arrested underdeveloped seeds (motes) are produced. If developmental processes are perturbed around the time of fiber initiation and the early stages of fiber elongation then short-fibered motes are produced. Since fiber quality depends in part on the number of seeds per boll the number of motes in a boll is important. On the day of anthesis one half of the stigma was removed from cotton flowers. This procedure enhances the number of motes per boll. Ovules were cultured from bolls derived from stigma-removed flowers and from normal flowers. Cotton ovules were removed from first position bolls 30 h post anthesis. Ovules were placed in a modified Beasley and Ting medium. Motes were detected in ovule culture when the concentrations of hormones in the culture media were reduced. Ovule culture revealed that conditions present in a boll at 2 days post anthesis have an impact on subsequent fiber quality.