WVSU study published in international journal, Nature

Contact: Dr. Orlando F. McMeans
Jan. 30, 2013
WVSU study published in international journal, Nature
Research links cotton and cocao plant
INSTITUTE, W.Va.What do chocolate and cotton have in common? Perhaps more than we think, according to a recent collaborative study involving West Virginia State University researchers. The work, which describes cotton, grapes and the cocao plant evolving from a common ancestor, was published in the Dec. 20 edition of the international scientific journal, Nature.

The study shows, for the first time, how cotton fiber evolved from its wild relatives and explores its disease-resistant properties. “The DNA sequence draft of cotton developed in this study was used to identify disease-resistant genes,” said Dr. Umesh K. Reddy, WVSU research scientist. Reddy’s lab was one of 30 different laboratories from 14 countries taking part in the study. “This will have great impact on the engineering of resistant crop varieties,” he added.

Nature is the most cited interdisciplinary journal in the world,” said Dr. Robert J. Barney, interim assistant vice president for Research & Public Service. “This publication indicates the caliber of the research being done by our scientists here at WVSU.”

Studying disease-resistance in crops is an ongoing part of research at WVSU. With its Agricultural and Environmental Research Station, the University continues to expand its portfolio as one of West Virginia’s leading research institutions.

Led by Dr. Andrew Paterson, professor of Genetics at the University of Georgia, the full article featuring Reddy’s work is entitled “Repeated polyploidization of Gossypium genomes and the evolution of spinnable cotton fibres.” It can be found in Vol. 492, Iss. 7429, of Nature.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, WV. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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