Cotton is economically and evolutionarily important crop for its fiber. In order to improve fiber quality and yield, and to exploit the natural genetic potential inherent in genotypes, understanding genome structure and function of cultivated cotton is important. In order to achieve this, a functional understanding of bioinformatics resources such as databases, software solutions, and analysis tools is required. But currently, there are very few unified reports on bioinformatics tools and even fewer repositories to access cotton genomic information. Also, resourceful developers and bioinformatics scientists actively addressing complex genomic challenges in cotton genomes are much in need. The primary goal of this chapter is to provide a review of such tools and resources for analyzing the structure and function of the cotton genome with preferential emphasis on this complex and economically important plant species. This discourse begins with a description of concurrent advances in high‐throughput genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses and focuses on four major sections covering bioinformatics tools and resources for analysis of: (1) genomes; (2) transcriptomes; (3) small RNAs; and (4) epigenomes. In each section, recent advances in cotton have been discussed. Cotton genome sequencing and annotation efforts are outlined within these sections. This review discusses the availability of genome information of both diploid and tetraploid species that have impelled cotton genome research into the post‐genomics era, opening new avenues for exploring regulatory mechanisms associated with fine‐tuning of gene expression of fiber‐related genes. Finally, the potential impacts of these rapid advances, especially the challenges in handling and analyzing the large datasets are discussed.
Part of the book: Bioinformatics
Among major nematode pests of Upland, cotton production is the reniform nematode, which is a serious threat in various cotton-producing regions. The availability of germplasm lines with tolerance or resistance to this menacing pest is a valued asset. To date, various laboratories and research institutions have collaborated to transfer the reniform nematode resistance from wild gene pools of cotton into widely cultivated Upland cotton, which have led to positive results. This chapter focuses on the current status of these introgressions and resistance mechanisms in cotton. In this overview, four major themes are being pursed: (1) tolerance mechanisms in cotton to the reniform nematode, (2) genotype evaluations, (3) introgression of reniform resistance into Upland cotton, and (4) functional analysis of reniform infection in Upland cotton. Genetic resistance in Upland cotton to the reniform nematode is the only practical solution because conventional control measures are the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable and therefore have been and will be actively pursued. Resistance genes, if successfully introgressed into crop plants from wild relatives, should complement management of the reniform nematode with traditional methods.
Part of the book: Cotton Research