News last update:6 Aug 2012

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 world.

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 people.

The research was published in a recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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