Improving fiber quality has been an important breeding goal for cotton breeders. Better understanding of fiber development helps cotton scientists to devise a strategy for crop improvement either through marker-assisted selection or via manipulation of fiber genes. USDA-ARS Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) in New Orleans, LA has a long history of studying postharvest fiber chemistry and physics, but research on cotton fiber development in planta began only in 1985. During the period of 1985 to 2008, cotton fiber bioscience research at SRRC was led by Barbara Triplett whose research focused on dissecting cotton fiber development at the level of gene processes and testing hypotheses about the functional roles of specific genes or cohorts of coordinately regulated genes in important fiber traits. Following stakeholders’ recommendations, the cotton fiber bioscience research unit (CFBRU) was established in 2007 at SRRC. Currently, research projects at the CFBRU are focusing on 1) in-depth research to understand the basic biology of cotton fiber development, 2) genetically mapping fiber quality and yield quantitative trait loci, and 3) using the obtained information in breeding to improve cotton fiber quality. Major recent accomplishments include, but are not limited to, identification of causative genes for Ligon-lintless 1 and immature fiber mutations and identification of stable large-effect fiber quantitative trait loci and their application in practical breeding.