Cotton has remained a major agricultural product in the United States of America and provides about 200,000 jobs related to its growth and processing. While most of the cotton that is grown in all parts of the world is used in textile production, researchers at Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology believe that specially cultivated cotton has all the qualities to become the super plant of the 21st century.
The researchers believe that cotton could play an important role in biofuel production and bioremediation. Moreover, cotton can also be used to clean metals from the soil and remove oil from spill areas. The team wants to develop better and targeted cotton strains which can do the job of bioremediation.
Usually cotton can absorb many times its weight in oil and the plant draws metals up into its leaves and thereby removes heavy metals from soil. To help in their research, the scientists have sequenced the genome of one cotton species since its less complex genetically than some other varieties.