ARS reduces gossypol in cotton seed
Genetic technology developed by Agricultural Research Service
(ARS) scientists and cooperators suggests that cottonseed could one day
become a significant source of low-cost protein for the developing
The research team found a way to genetically reduce the amount of the natural
toxin known as gossypol in cottonseed. They showed that by using RNAi
technology, new cotton lines could be developed with lower gossypol levels
in the seed.
This means that 44 million metric tons of cottonseed
produced yearly could be used to provide roughly 10 million metric tons of
protein. This would help meet the total protein needs of almost a half billion
The research was published in a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of
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