Photosynthesis of cotton near-isogenic lines introgressed with QTLs for productivity and drought related traits

Avishag Levi, Lianne Ovnat, Andrew H. Paterson, Yehoshua Saranga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for yield and drought related traits were exchanged via marker-assisted selection (MAS) between elite cultivars of two cotton species, Gossypium barbadense (GB) cv. F-177 and Gossypium hirsutum (GH) cv. Siv'on. The resulting near-isogenic lines (NILs) manifested in many cases the expected drought-adaptive traits, but rarely exhibited an advantage in yield relative to the recipient parents. In the current study we characterized the photosynthetic activity of two selected NILs and their recipient parents under dryland and irrigated field conditions. The GB NIL exhibited a stable net rate of CO2 assimilation (A) across a wide range of leaf water potentials with a notable advantage over its recipient parent, F-177, under severe drought, associated with lower stomatal limitation, greater maximum velocity for carboxylation of Rubisco and greater electron transport rate. The GH NIL exhibited greater mesophyll conductance under drought conditions than its recipient parent, Siv'on, but these genotypes did not differ in A. Nevertheless, both NILs did not differ from their recipient parents in yield. This study provides further support to our previous conclusion that MAS is a useful means to enhance drought-adaptive traits of cotton but complimentary conventional breeding is required to achieve high yield potential.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (#3-2291) from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel, within the cooperation program with the Ministry of Science and Technology, India, and by the Israel Cotton Production and Marketing Board. We thank Prof. T.D. Sharkey and Prof. A. Schwartz for their helpful suggestions, V. Barak and A. Brodutch for their technical assistance, and O. Tzairi for his assistance in conducting the field experiment.


  • Gas exchange
  • Gossypium
  • Leaf water potential
  • MAS
  • NIL


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