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    Cotton fiber is the most important source of cellulose for the global textile industry. These hair-like single-celled trichomes develop from ovule epidermis. They are classified into long spinnable lint and short fuzz. A key objective in the cotton industry is to breed elite cultivars with fuzzless seeds carrying high lint yield. Molecular basis underlying lint and fuzz initiation remains obscure. Recent studies indicate fiber initiation is under the control of MYB-bHLH-WDR (MBW) transcription factor complex. Based on molecular genetic studies and gene expression patterns linking fiber phenotypes, we propose that specific but different sets of MBW genes are required to precisely regulate the initiation of the lint and fuzz fibers. Emerging evidence further points to sugar signaling as a 'hair-tonic' to boost fiber initiation through interaction with MBW complex and auxin signaling. An integrative model is provided as a conceptual framework for future studies to dissect the molecular network responsible for cotton fiber initiation. © 2020 The Authors New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Foundation.

    Citation

    Lu Wang, Dewi Kartika, Yong-Ling Ruan. Looking into 'hair tonics' for cotton fiber initiation. The New phytologist. 2021 Feb;229(4):1844-1851

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    PMID: 32858773

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