This natural plant fiber is a globally important crop with many uses. But cotton growers are continually dealing with environmental challenges like drought and pests. Explore the content below to learn more about cotton, its wild ancestors, and some of the approaches scientists are using to study and improve cotton plants.
We've all seen the "100% cotton" label on our clothes. But what is cotton, and where does it come from?
Learn all about cotton and its many uses.
The traits of modern cotton have been shaped by both natural and artificial selection.
When scientists understand which genes influence which traits, they have the potential to make cotton plants with better characteristics.
Genome mapping is a useful step in the process of understand how variations in genes influence traits. Learn the basic approach researchers use for genome mapping, then use one of our models to try it yourself.
Compare and contrast the traditional and modern methods for making better crop plants.
Learn the basics about genome assembly: why genomes are first cut apart, and how they're put back together.
Build a hands-on rope model and use it to assemble your own contig.
This hands-on contig building activity uses paper cut-outs. Use it as a follow-up or alternative to the rope model.