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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic Traits Associated with Seed Coat Fragments, Motes, and Neps

Author
item Boykin Jr, James

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2006
Publication Date: June 10, 2006
Citation: Boykin Jr, J.C. 2006. Genetic traits associated with seed coat fragments, motes, and neps. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD ROM pp. 436-447.

Interpretive Summary: Since most cotton produced in the U.S. is exported, it is important that the quality of this cotton keeps up with the changing demands of the industry. One issue that is becoming increasingly important is problems associated with fragments of cottonseed that remain in cotton bales after ginning. These fragments lead to problems in the textile mill when the cotton lint is spun into yarn. These fragments can cause the yarn to break resulting in costly down time in the mill. In addition, when the yarn or fabric is dyed, the fragments absorb the dye differently than the cotton lint and cause discoloration that is undesirable in the finished product. In this study, a total of 104 types of cotton were processed through typical gin processes, and lint was analyzed for seed coat fragments. Cotton varieties were found to vary by over 100%. This research identifies the possibilities of decreasing seed coat fragment contamination by choosing varieties with less contamination. It also indicates that there is room for considerable progress to be made in cotton breeding programs to reduce the seed coat fragment potential for new varieties. Implementation of this knowledge will increase the competitiveness of U.S. cotton.

Technical Abstract: Nep and seed coat fragment (SCF) contamination in cotton lint cause problems for spinning and dyeing operations in textile plants. Cotton cultivars grown in three test groups of the Mississippi Regional Cotton Variety Trial (RCVT) were processed through a typical sequence of gin machinery and the lint was analyzed manually for SCF and motes. The Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) was also used to analyze neps and seed coat neps (SCN) in lint. These results were used to characterize cultivars, identify interactions between cultivar and test group, and identify trends between measurements. Statistically, the most discernable difference between cultivars was found for AFIS neps, ranging from 660 to 720 neps/g lint. Differences were also found between cultivars in each test for the number of SCF and AFIS SCN, and differences were seen between cultivars in two tests for the number of motes. Depending on cultivar, the number of manually counted SCF ranged from 6 to 35 and averaged 13.1 SCF/g lint. The SCN counted by the AFIS ranged from 6 to 22 and averaged 11.5 SCN/g lint. The correlation coefficient between manual SCF and AFIS SCN was as high as 0.84 in one test but only 0.59 in another, so these measurements were similar but different. Only one measurement, AFIS nep count, revealed a significant interaction between cultivar and test group. For other measurements, cultivar differences were consistent between test groups.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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