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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 607091, 15 pages
Review Article

Molecular Markers and Cotton Genetic Improvement: Current Status and Future Prospects

1Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
2Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan
3Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
4University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan

Received 21 July 2014; Accepted 17 September 2014; Published 23 October 2014

Academic Editor: Yeisoo Yu

Copyright © 2014 Waqas Malik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Narrow genetic base and complex allotetraploid genome of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is stimulating efforts to avail required polymorphism for marker based breeding. The availability of draft genome sequence of G. raimondii and G. arboreum and next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies facilitated the development of high-throughput marker technologies in cotton. The concepts of genetic diversity, QTL mapping, and marker assisted selection (MAS) are evolving into more efficient concepts of linkage disequilibrium, association mapping, and genomic selection, respectively. The objective of the current review is to analyze the pace of evolution in the molecular marker technologies in cotton during the last ten years into the following four areas: (i) comparative analysis of low- and high-throughput marker technologies available in cotton, (ii) genetic diversity in the available wild and improved gene pools of cotton, (iii) identification of the genomic regions within cotton genome underlying economic traits, and (iv) marker based selection methodologies. Moreover, the applications of marker technologies to enhance the breeding efficiency in cotton are also summarized. Aforementioned genomic technologies and the integration of several other omics resources are expected to enhance the cotton productivity and meet the global fiber quantity and quality demands.