The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has joined Cotton Incorporated (CI) and Clemson University Genomics Institute (CUGI) in launching the Cotton Microsatellite Database online at: www.mainlab.clemson.edu/cmd.

Unlike other major crops, cotton did not have a publicly available database for DNA markers. Lack of markers and maps has been a major limiting factor in the development of DNA-based tools to identify important agronomic traits and facilitate selection of plants based on these traits.

When a specific marker is associated with a gene governing resistance to a specific pest or disease, it can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify plants with potential resistance. This is only the first step toward developing a DNA marker database and creating a map of the cotton genome.