Cotton research history?
Sep 10, 2020

ICRA

World Cotton Day


As we have been recently recalled, ICAC has launched the initiative of declaring October 7 as the World Cotton Day. Hopefully, in a couple of days, it will become the new UN World Cotton Day and give us some pride in working on cotton.

For sure, the World Cotton Day will be celebrated at various cotton research organizations all over the world, along celebrations initiated by other stakeholders of the cotton industry.

World Cotton Research History?


I nevertheless wonder how we, cotton scientists or professionals, could more specifically celebrate cotton.

I believe that many of you would concur with me that research has contribute a lot to what cotton industry has become in all producing countries. However, is there any track of that? Has the history of cotton research ever been written and updated anywhere? Would it be relevant to initiate the writing of such histories in producing countries so as to compose the World History of Cotton Research?

Answers and challenges are yours! And quite difficult.

More modestly and realistically, would you have ideas of particular research outputs, maybe associated to particular researchers, that you think have been crucial breakthroughs in the development of the cotton industry in your country?

 

10 Comments

Gholamhossein Hosseini
Sep 20, 2020

@michel#740

Sorry, yes you are right. Flax in the Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages is called Katan or کتان.
We also planted flax next to cotton this year, as you know flaxseed is one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 which has cardiovascular positive effects.
Whatever their pronunciation in the English and Persian languages are similar but they are different in appearance and botany (different family). This kind of similarity is also comprehensible by bilingual individuals.

Michel Fok
Sep 20, 2020

@hooshmandh#739 You do not tell me how you say flax in farsi. I have just checked that it writes کتان and its prununciation sounds just like "cotton". I remember having read Hutchinson long ago which impressed me less than that of Crawford (Crawford, M. D. C. (1948). The heritage of cotton : The fibre of two worlds and many ages (2nd ed.). New York: Fairchild Publishing Company.). By the way, do you think that through the current molecular tools, it would be possible to assess the genetic proximity between G. herbaceum or arboreum still found in Africa and 'desi' varieties in India? A young scientist in Burkina Faso has implemented a prospection of cotton preserved by nomadic people in the north of the country.

Gholamhossein Hosseini
Sep 19, 2020

Actually cotton in the Arabic, Persian, Turkish language is called algatan, panbeh, pamuk respectively. Cotton is also originated from al- gatan. Cotton word is from Arabic word gatan.

But regarding to herbaceum, Hutchinson and et al. In the reference of "the evolution of Gossypium and the differentiation of the cultivated cotton (1947), Oxford university press' reasoned that spinning cotton evolved in economies that already had a technology for the spinning of flax and wool in Africa. Because the only known wild form of domesticated cotton in the Africa was herbaceum. Gossypium herbaceum Africanum, which had 15 mm or less, well below staple length of modern herbaceum. Fryxell (1979) in the "natural history of cotton tribe" also has confirmed this issues.
On the other hand we should note Iran has more than 2500 years civilization and had been empire at that time which could be resulted from such issues like plant domestication.

Meanwhile the date 1930 is correct instead of 1939 in the previous text.

Michel Fok
Sep 19, 2020

@hooshmandh#737 It's up to you to decide writing or not a more comprehensive history. If affirmative, you might need to gather more people around you to cope with the task and I will manage to allocate editing rights in the Gossypedia (wiki functionality) of our website. If not, what you have written here will remain little accessible, as it is embedded within a forum discussion.

With regard to the second sentence of what you have written, about the import of G. herbaceum 3000 years ago, I am a bit astonished, so I would appreciate more elaboration on that fact.
I understood that in farsi, the pronunciation of cotton refers to flax, do you confirm? So, I tended to think that people in Saudi Arabia might have heard of a plant giving fiber for making cloths and believe that when those people heard about plant giving fiber for clothn they called it 'cotton'.

Gholamhossein Hosseini
Sep 19, 2020

@michel#720
I would like to give a brief history of cotton research in Iran. Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum. L) was imported in Iran from eastern Africa through Aden a port city of Yemen and Saudi Arabia about 3000 years ago. Cotton research in Iran started by improvement of upland cotton (G. hirsutum. L) in Philestan region of Varamin in 1939. First of all cotton improvement research center was responsible for cotton farmers’ problems and cotton researches. After establishment of Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, cotton research activities transferred to this institute. Cotton Research Institute (CRI) established in Gorgan in 1997 by maintaining its main branch in Varamin. At the moment, there are five research departments in Gorgan and varamin: Cotton breeding, plant pathology, agronomy, Biotechnology, engineering and technical departments and seven special research stations at Varamin (khaveh), Kashmar, Moghan, Karkandeh, Hashemabad and Darab. Since 1939 a few cotton cultivars have been improved according to the quality of fibers and early maturing in Iran.

Michel Fok
Sep 19, 2020

@Kumar25#733 Thanks for this contribution that it would be pitiful to let in the current shape of a post instead of a chapter of a book in our Gossypedia. Like any history, better to make it attractive to read through proper text formatting and integration of illustrations (pics, drawings...). I can start processing the transformation into a gossypedia chapter, provision of illustration is welcome.

Michel Fok
Sep 19, 2020

@Kumar25#734 I would show myself more flexible about this aspect. As long as we are no going to publish in hard which would require to have the entire book ready at the time of publishing, we can start at any stage of the history. It's just like when we reconstitute a puzzle, we can start at any point of the picture and move on the way we can, according to the pieces we find. The various pieces of the history-puzzle are what the members of our community could bring along and share. It's also a matter of everyone's responsibility to identify those who detain missing pieces of the puzzle and convince this people to share them.

Michel Fok
Sep 15, 2020

@sandhya#729 There should be indeed some consensus on the idea f writing the history by the themes mentioned (breeding, crop protection...). So, instead of having a single thick book on the history of cotton research, we could have several books dedicated to the histories of various themes of cotton research. It's kind of writing the history in a modular way, with the advantage of flexibility to adapt to various rhythms in writing.

I nevertheless think that ICRA members have to volunteer to join in groups to address specific themes, because of their enthusiasm and their competence. Once that there are enough members in a group addressing a particular theme, someone must volunteer to coordinate within the group. Of particular relevance for coordination is to identify what are technologies worth being written on, then to distribute the writing tasks. As the manager of the Gossypedia tool, I can allocate the editor rights to the members of each theme-specific group. It will be up to each group to proceed coordination through the way it finds most appropriate, e.g. through email exchanges. However, If it is found relevant to keep record of exchanges and to find them in a common place, the forum functionality of the ICRA website can be used: we can indeed manage so that only members of a group could see and contribute to forum discussions that the group has specifically launched.