Cotton Incorporated, in conjunction with three land grant universities (Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas and University of Georgia) have released five new cotton germplasm lines to help improve fiber quality and yield potential.

The germplasm lines are products of Cotton Incorporated's Breeding and Genetic Initiative.

Funded by Cotton Incorporated and introduced by Cotton Incorporated's vice president of agricultural research and founder of the Breeding and Genetic Initiative, Roy Cantrell, the germplasm lines are available to all companies and breeders for use in breeding programs.

"Unique germplasm has to be continually introduced to provide the genetic variation necessary to maintain genetic gain in yield potential and fiber quality," states Cantrell. "And the joint release of these new germplasm lines is a very positive first step."

The five germplasm lines released by Cotton Incorporated include the following:

* Tamcot 22 - Developed in conjunction with Texas A&M University, this germplasm is a high-yielding, mid-season picker-type cultivar.

* TAM 96WD - Developed in conjunction with Texas A&M University, this is a high-yielding germplasm line with improved fiber length and strength.

* TAM 96WD-69s - Developed in conjunction with Texas A&M University, this is a high yielding, smooth leaf germplasm line with improved fiber length and strength.

* Arkot 8712 - Developed in conjunction with the University of Arkansas, this germplasm line matures early and has an excellent fiber quality.

* GA 98066 - Developed in conjunction with the University of Georgia, this is a high-yielding germplasm line with desirable fiber quality and moderate resistance to Fusarium Wilt.

In addition to funding, Cotton Incorporated helps make breeding program selections based on fiber testing conducted at Cotton Incorporated and coordinates the Winder Breeding nursery in Mexico, along with the National Cotton Council and USDA-ARS, which aided in the release of the new germplasm lines.

About the Breeding and Genetics Initiative: Following approval from the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated's Board of Directors, Cotton Incorporated's Breeding and Genetics Initiative was launched in 2002 by vice president of agricultural research.

The initiative invests significant funding to the genetic improvement of fiber quality and yield stability, and works to close the gap between cotton's yield and quality trends through new germplasm and improved germplasm varieties.

For more information about the Cotton Board, please visit http://www.cottonboard.org.