The B5 Gene - OSU Ag’s hope for healthier cotton

Sep 07, 2023

Let's talk cotton – but not just any cotton. We’re diving into a special gene, B5, that might be cotton’s superhero against a disease called bacterial blight. 

Back in the 1950s, this special B5 gene was spotted in Egyptian cotton. Then, an OSU professor had an idea to mix this gene with another cotton variety. His work was later expanded by another professor and her brilliant team. 

Now, here’s the twist! B 5 didn't act like other genes. Bayles found out it behaved as if it was in two places in the cotton’s DNA map.  

This cotton with the B5 gene had another surprise: it was really good at making chemicals to defend itself from infections. In fact, 10 times better than other cottons. 

A researcher from Texas discovered that this B5 cotton is super strong against a bunch of bacterial blight types. Especially one naughty blight called Race 18. 

Now that we know B5’s power, they are sharing their findings with everyone. But they have a smart caution: using only one gene might not be enough because diseases can get sneaky. They're hoping to team B5 with other genes for unbeatable cotton. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection
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