Plamen Sabev1, Nely Valkova1 and Elena G. Todorovska2
1 Agricultural Academy, Institute of Field Crops, 6200 Chirpan, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural Academy, AgroBioInstitute, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
Sabev, P., Valkova, N. & Todorovska, E. G. (2020). Molecular markers and their application in cotton breeding: progress and future perspectives. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 26 (4), 816–828
Cotton is the most important natural fiber plant worldwide and a valued cash crop. It is also a significant source of oil and protein. The conventional breeding for genetic improvement has its limitations due mostly to the lack of knowledge about polygenic traits such as yield productivity, fiber quality, resistance to diseases, and adverse growing conditions. The use of molecular markers is one of the significant developments in the field of genetics, allowing faster detection and exploitation of DNA polymorphisms. Recent developments, including the sequencing of the genome of G. raimondii, G. arboreum, G. hirsutum, and G. barbadense open new possibilities for selection of the best traits present in the genome of cotton. This article gives an overview of various DNA markers used in cotton. They play a crucial role in cotton improvement programs, like (a) Analysis of genetic diversity, (b) Construction of linkage maps, (c) QTL analysis of agronomic and fiber-related traits, (d) Marker-assisted selection (MAS). There is no molecular marker type developed up to now which can fulfill all the requirements of the plant breeders. The scientists should take a holistic approach and use all tools at their disposal to utilize the full genetic diversity present in Gossypium spp.