Gossypium hirsutum L.
Syn.: Gossypium mexicanum Tod.
American upland cotton
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
- Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels
Cultivated primarily for its vegetable seed fiber, the raw material for a large
volume of textile products, this species is considered the most important of
the cotton-yielding plants, providing the bulk of commercial cottons. Linters
are of intermediate texture and shorter than those of G. barbadense.
Seeds yield a semi-drying and edible oil, used in shortening, margarine, salad
and cooking oils, and for protective coverings. Residue, cottonseed cake or
meal is important protein concentrate for livestock. Pigg (1980) reports that
bread, made with cottonseed protein is an even better source of protein than
enriched white bread, six slices of which provide 20% of the adult RDA.
Low-grade residue serves as manure, bedding and fuel. Fuzz, which is not
removed in ginning, become linters in felts, upholstery, mattresses, twine,
wicks, carpets, surgical cottons, and in chemical industries such as rayons,
film, shatterproof glass, plastics, sausage skins, lacquers, and cellulose
Cottonseed and roots have been used in nasal polyps, uterine fibroids and other
types of cancer (Hartwell, 19671971). Gossypol has shown anticancer activity
in the new LL, WA and PS-150 tumor systems. Mucilaginous tea of fresh or
roasted seeds used for bonchitis, diarrhea, dysentry, and hemorrhage. Flowers
diuretic and emollient, used for hypochondriasis. Leaves steeped in vinegar
applied to the forehead for headache. Often used by early American slaves for
abortion; apparently with no serious side effects. In Guinea, leaves and seeds
considered emollient and roots emmenagogue. About 100 g root was boiled in
about a liter of water until reduced by 1/2. Fifty g of the resultant witches
brew was then drunk about every half hour. Root decocotion used for asthma,
diarrhea, and dysentery. Root bark, devoid of tannin, astringent,
antihemorrhoidal; used as an emmenagogue, hemostat, lactagogue, oxytocic,
parturient, and vasoconstrictor. Gossypol is being used in China as a male
Root bark contains ca 3% of a reddish acidic resin, a volatile oil, a phenolic
acid (probably 2,3-dihydrobenzoic acid; salicylic acid, a colorless phenol,
betaine, a fatty alcohol, a phytosterol (C27H46O), a hydrocarbon (probably
triacontane), ceryl alcohol and oleic and palmitic acid. Hager's Handbook
(List and Horhammer, 19691979) also lists isoquercitrin, quercimeritrin,
quercetin-3'-glucoside, hirsutrin, isoastragalin, palmitic acid, oleic acid,
linoleic acid, a-pinene, b-caryophyllene, bisabolol,
caryophyllenepoxide, bisabolenoxide, abscissin II, serotonin, chrysanthemin,
gossypicyanin, and histamine.
Gossypol, the toxic dihydroxyphenol, occuring in seeds and the glands of
seedlings, must be removed before cottonseed can be used for feed. Hogs have
died from eating raw seed (Morton, 1974). Per 100 g, the ground seed is
reported to contain 7.3 g H2O, 23.1 g protein, 22.9 g fat, 43.2 g total
carbohydrate, 16.9 g fiber, 3.5 g ash, 140 mg Ca, 1.2 mg Mn, 320 mg Mg, 680 mg
P, 14 mg Fe, 290 mg Na, 1,110 mg K 240 mg S, 5 mg Cu. Once the oil is removed,
the meal contains per 100 g, 7.3 g H2O, 41.4 g protein, 5.6 g fat, 10.9 g crude
fiber, 39.5 g total carbohydrate (6.5 g total sugars, 6.4% lignin), 190 mg Ca,
1.8 mg Cu, 10 mg Fe, 490 mg Mg, 2.3 mg Mn, 1,090 mg P, 1,250 mg K, 50 mg Na,
and 400 mg S (Parnell, 1981). Commercial cottonseed contains approximately 92%
dry matter, 1620% protein, 1824% oil, 30% carbohydrates, 22% crude fiber.
After ginning, cottonseed includes unginned lint, fuzz, 16% crude oil, 45.5%
cake or meal, 25.5% hulls, and 8% linters. Principal pigment in seed is
gossypol, a poisonous phenolic compound usually rendered harmless on crushing
or heating, but may retain minute amounts to which pigs and chickens are
Annual subshrub, up to 1.5 m tall; branches of two kinds: vegetative and
fruiting; leaves alternate, petiolate, palmately 35-lobed, hirsute, blade
cordate, as broad as long, 7.515 cm across; flowers 68 on each fertile
branch, large, white or yellow, subtended by a reduced calyx and 34 large
green fringed bracts; staminal column surrounding style made up of 100 or more
stamens; ovary superior, 35-carpellate; fruit a dehiscent capsule, 46 cm
long, spherical, smooth, light green, with few oil glands; seeds 1 cm long,
ovoid, dark brown, about 36 per fruit, bearing hairs of two kinds on the
epidermis: long fibers called lint and short fibers strongly attached to
seedcoat called fuzz; weight of 100 seeds 1013 g; well-developed taproot with
numerous laterals penetrating as deeply as 3 m. Fl. variable as to locality,
approx. 3 months after planting.
Reported from the Middle American, South American, and African Centers of
Diversity, upland cotton, or cvs thereof is reported to tolerate bacteria,
disease, drought, fungus, hydrogen floride, high pH, insects, low pH,
nematodes, photoperiod, sand, virus and waterlogging (Duke, 1978). Authors
recognize seven entities or botanical varieties: palmeri, morilli,
richmondi, vucatanense occurring wild on coastal dunes in Central America,
and marie-galante, punctatum, and latifolium, these latter forms
being known as Upland Cotton, forming the basis of much of the world's
commercial cotton. Hundreds of cultivars are known; 'Auburn 56', 'Bayou',
'Auburn 623 RNR' and 'Darminii' being resistant to rootknot nematode,
Meloidogyne incognita. Varieties are sometimes classed according to
fiber length, as: Long Staple, 'Acala' cultivars; Medium Staple, 'Deltapine'
and 'Coker 100 Wilt', and Short Staple, 'Lankart'. G. hirsutum is an
allopolyploid containing one set of chromosomes homologous with Old World
linted cottons (Genome A) and one set of homologous with a New World wild
species (Genome D). Cytoplasmic male sterility has not yet been found, but
gametocides are being developed which prevent pollen development in some
cultivars. (2n = 52)
Believed to have originated in Central America. In its transition from
tropical to temperate regions, American Upland Cotton has lost the perennial,
short-day habit to become highly vegetative producing few or no fruiting
branches when grown during long days. Annual forms were developed in which all
periodicity controls were lost. American Upland Cotton was taken from Mexico
to United States about 1700. During American Civil War, it was introduced into
most tropical and subtropical countries of the world. It now forms basis of
all commercial cotton crops of Africa outside the Nile Valley, all those of
South America except in Peru and northern Brazil, of the modern Russian crop,
and much of that of northern India and Pakistan, and the Philippine Islands, as
well as that of the Cotton Belt of the United States. Upland and Cambodian
varieties are invading the Chinese crop, and where these cottons are developed
in southeast Asia, they will be based on these types and hybrids between them.
Ranging from the Cool Temperate Moist to Wet through Tropical Very Dry to Moist
Forest Life Zones, Upland Cotton is reported to tolerate annual precipitation
of 2.9 (irrigated) to 27.8 dm (mean of 36 cases = 11.3), annual temperature of
7.0 to 27.8°C (mean of 36 cases = 20.7), and pH of 4.5 to 8.4 (mean of 31
cases = 66). In the Northern Hemisphere, cotton production extends to 37°N
in the United States, 47°N in Soviet Union, and 42°N in Manchuria. In
the Southern Hemisphere, the limits are 32°S in South America and Australia,
and to about 30°S in Africa. Sensitive in any stage to frost, cotton limits
are set by the early and late frosts. Cotton is crop of warm plains, grown
commercially from sealevel to 1,200 m, with some perennial forms found at 1,800
m. A long-season plant, cotton requires a minimum of 180200 frost-free days
of uniformly high temperatures, averaging 2122°C. Full sunlight is
critical for proper development. Where rainfall is less than 500 mm annually,
irrigation should be practiced. Amount of rainfall is not as important as when
it falls. Heavy rains injure plants. Moderate rainfall is preferable during
vegetative growth followed by a dry period to allow the bolls to mature and be
picked. Cotton is tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but thrives best on
deep, friable, moisture-holding soils with good humus supply. Optimum pH is
5.27. In India, cotton is grown on black alluvial and red soils; in USSR,
major crop grown on alluvial soils; in Ukraine, on hernozem soils; and in
Egypt, on alluvial soils along Nile River.
Seeds of some cultivars require a 23 month period of dormancy. Seeds lose
viability quickly under moist conditions. Commercial cotton is always grown
from seed, sown when soil temperatures are at least 18°C. Seed sown in
drills or in hills. The hill-drop method is perhaps best if hand-hoe labor is
used. Plant 2.5 cm deep under normal conditions. Seed rate of 1728 kg/ha
gives a good stand with 75,000150,000 plants/ha, allowing for some losses.
Row width of 100 cm is most suitable for mechanization. Seedbed preparation
should include eradication of residue from past crops, maintenance of drainage,
good tilth, elimination of hardpans, control of weeds and pests. Periodic
cultivation and weeding is practiced. Chemical herbicides are routine in many
countries. Insect control is one of the most costly items. Pre- and
post-planting pesticide application is practiced. Irrigation is used when soil
moisture is inadequate or when soil is poor in moisture-holding ability. An
increasing amount of cotton is grown under irrigation yearly. Fertilizers are
also a major item; for large harvests nutrients must be continually replaced.
Amounts depend on soils; local agents should be consulted. Rotation is a
recommended practice. Short rainy seasons often allow only the single crop to
be grown. Where possible, a rotation of fallow, wheat, fallow, peas, cotton,
fallow has proved practical.
Planting to flowering is 80110 days with another 5580 days until the boll
opens. Hand-harvesting still accounts for the largest percentage of harvest in
spite of advances in mechanization. Hand methods provide a higher grade of
cotton and gets more from the fields. One man can pick about 50110 kg of seed
cotton per day. On the average a two-row mechanical picker can harvest 1,400
kg of seed cotton per hour. Proper ginning is important in determining the
quality of the fiber and the price. Seed removal is done almost exclusively by
one of many ginning processes on the market today. After linters and fuzz have
been removed from seed, the oil is expressed.
Pryde and Doty (1981) put the average oil yield at only 140 kg/ha. According
to Parnell (1981), annual U.S. cottonseed yields are 800950 kg/ha. About 68%
is planted, with small quantities used for feed; the remainder is crushed for
cottonseed oil (ca $0.45/kg in April, 1982), with the byproduct being
cottonseed meal (ca $145/ton). A metric ton of cottonseed yields ca 160 kg
oil, 450 kg meal, 68 kg linters, 250 kg hulls, and 72 kg trash, waste, and
invisible losses (Parnell, 1981). The world low production yield figure was 73
kg/ha in Grenada, the international production yield was 1,251 kg/ha, and the
world high production yield was 3,306 in Guatemala. (FAO, 1980a) Average lint
yield varies, ranging from 112 kg/ha in rainfed cottons in India to 3,360 kg/ha
in irrigated cotton lands of California. More typically, the average in Egypt
is 620 kg/ha, 784 kg/ha in Mexico, and 280 kg/ha in Thailand. Cotton fiber is
one of the most important fiber products in the world. Major exporting
countries are United States (3.15 billion kg), China (1.35 billion kg), USSR
(1.35 billion kg), India (0.9 billion kg), Egypt (0.45 billion kg), and Mexico
(1.45 billion kg), based on 1960 figures. Major importing countries are Japan,
West Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Italy. Cotton seed world production
for 1970 was 22,066,000 MT on 33,186,000 ha, giving an average yield of 660
kg/ha. Cotton seed prices, based on 1969 producer prices ranged from
1.5cents/kg in UAR to 4.5cents/kg in U.S. Wholesale price in India was
11.9cents/kg, and the import price was 9.1cents/kg. Cottonseed oil production
in United States for 1970 was 2,012,900 MT, which was 7% of the market, with
wholesale prices in United States 24.0cents/kg; import prices in Europe were
about 30.3cents/kg. As of June 15, cottonseed oil was $0.265/lb., compared to
peanut oil for $0.38, poppyseed oil for $1.39, tung oil for $0.65, linseed oil
for $0.33, coconut oil for $0.275, corn oil for $0.232, soybean oil for $0.21
(Chemical Marketing Reporter, June 15, 1981). At $2.00 per gallon, gasoline is
The harvest index of seedcotton is 1:2, i.e. for each kg of seedcotton, there
is about 2 kg aerial biomass residue. In some countries (e.g. Turkey, Russia),
even this is used for fuel. The residue coefficient, defined as the ratio of
the weight of dry matter of residue to recorded harvested weight, ranges from
1.20 to 3.00 (assuming both lint and seed are included in production). Upper
limits were determined by USDA experts (NAS, 1977a). Vaing and Delille (1983)
report on a modified 25-HP tractor used in Mali which ran on cotton stalks
(6.311.8 Kg /hr). Seedcotton is the usual production and yield unit. Of the
seedcotton, almost nothing is truly wasted, usually 1/3 is lint, and 2/3 is
seed (with ca 20% oil, 20% protein). About 5% is called linters, the so-called
short fibers or fuzz, which is almost pure cellulose acetate. Another 5% is
seed coat, which contains ca 7% raffinose. The hulls (ca 5%) are ground up and
used for fertilizer or filler. Noting that diesel fuel energy accounted for
1024% of total energy required for growing and harvesting cotton, fertilizer
for 5065% and pesticides for 1928%, Sistler and Smith (1981) concluded "There
are many gocd reasons to reduce tillage in cotton, but saving energy may not be
one of them if the operator has to be replaced with a high energy pesticide."
Chan et al. (1978) reported on a condensed tannin (molecular
weight 4,850) that was a major antibiotic component (against Heliothis
virescens) comprising 3.4% of the dried flower buds. At 0.2% in the diet,
the condensed tannin retarded larval growth by 84%. Fungi known to cause
diseases in cotton include the following: Aecidium desmium, A. gossypii,
Alternaria gossypina, A. humicola, A. macrospora, A. tenuis, Arthrobotrys
superba, Ascochyta gossypii, Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A.
glaucus, A. luchuensis, A. nidulans, A. ochraceus, A. penicilloides, A. repens,
A. ustus, A. versicolor, Botryosphaeria ribis, Cephalosporium acremonium,
Cephalothecium roseum, Cercospora althaeina, C. gossypina, Choanephora
conjuncta, Ch. cucurbitarum, Cladosporium herbarum, Colletotrichum gossypii,
Diplodia gossypina, Discosphaerella phaeochlorina, Epicoccum purpurascens,
Eremothecium ashbyii, Fusarium anguioides, F. coeruleum, F. concolor, F.
culmorum, F. equiseti, F. moniliforme, F. oxysporum, F. semitectum, F. solani,
F. vasinfectum, Gibberella fujikuroi, Glomerella gossypii, Helicobasidium
purpureum, Helminthosporium gossypii, Hendersonia sarmentorum, Humicola
fusco-atrata, Hypochnus aderholdii, Hyponectria gossypii, Kuehneola desmium,
Leptosphaeria spp., Leveillula malvacearum, L. taurica, Macrophomina
phaseoli, Macrosporium gossypii, Memnoniella echinata, Monilia crassa, M.
sitophila, Mucor racemosa, Mycosphaerella areola, M. gossypii, Myrothecium
verrucaria, Nectria cinnabarina, Nematospora coryli, N. gossypii, Neocosmospora
vasinfecta, Neurospora sitophila, Nigrospora gossypii, N. oryzae, N.
sphaerica, Ozonium auricomum, O. texanum, Pellicularia filamentosa, Penicillium
glaucum, Pestalotia gossypii, Pestalozziella gossypina, Phakospora desmium, Ph.
gossypii, Phlyctaena gossypii, Phoma corvina, Ph. gossypii, Phomopsis
malvacearum, Phyllosticta gossypina, Ph. malkoffii, Phymatotrichum omnivorum,
Physalospora rhodina, Phytophthora parasitica, Pleospora nigricantia, Puccinia
stakmanii, Pullularia pullulans, Pythium aphanidermatium, P. debaryanum, P.
ultimum, Ramularia areola, Rhinotrichum macrosporum, Rh. tenellum, Rhizoctonia
aderholdii, Rh. solani, Rhizopus stolonifer, Schizophyllum, commune, Sclerotium
rolfsii, Septoria gossypina, Stachybotrys atra, S. lobulata, Thielaviopsis
basicola, Trichoderma viride, Trichothecium roseum, Valsa gossypina,
Verticillium albo-atrum, V. dahliae. Bacterial disease isolated from
cotton include: Aerobacter closacea, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Bacillus
gossypina, Xanthomonas malvacearum. Virus isolated from this cotton
include: Abutilon mosaic, Anthocyanosis, Brazilian tobacco streak, Enation
mosaic, Euphorbia mosaic, Leaf curl, and Red-leaf droop. Striga asiatica
(S. lutea) parasitizes the plant. Some ailments of cotton are due
to deficiencies of Ca, K, or Mg, others due to Mn toxicity. Many nematodes
attack cotton, and developing nematode-resistant varieties of cotton is very
important. Some of those isolated from cotton are: Aphelenchus avenae
Belonolaimus gracilis, B. longicaudatus, Criconemella ornata, C. rustica, C.
sphaerocephala, Discolaimus paraconura, Helicotylenchus cavenessi, H.
dihysteria, H. mycrocephalus, H. microlobus, H. pseudorobustus Hoplolaimus
galeatus, H. seinhorsti, H. paraobustus, H. tylenchiformis, Hemicyliphora
membranifer, Meloidogyne arenaria, M. thamesii, M. hapla, M. incognita, M,
incognita acrita, M. javanica, Merlinius brevidens, Pratylenchus brachyurus, P.
coffeae, P. delattrei, P. pratensis, P. vulnus, Rotylenchus reniformis,
Scutellonema clathricaudatum, S. bradys, Trichodorus chistei, Tylenchorrhynchus
annulatus, T. claytoni, T. dubius, T. martini, Xiphinema americanaum, X.
indicum, X. ifacolum, and X. insigne. The Boll weevil
(Anthonomus grandis) is the most, destructive of the insects attacking
cotton. Other insect pests include: Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii),
Cotton leaf-perforator (Bucculatrix thurberiella), Thrips
(Frankliniella occidentalis), and Bollworms (Heliothis zea and
Analysing 62 kinds of biomass for heating value, Jenkins and Ebeling (1985)
reported a spread of 16.42 to 15.35MJ/kg, compared to 13.76 for weathered rice
straw to 23.28 MJ/kg for prune pits. On a % DM basis, the gin trash contained
67.30% volatiles, 17.60% ash, 15.10% fixed carbon, 39.59% C, 5.26% H,
36.38% O, 2.09% N, and undetermined residue.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Chan, B.G., Waiss, A.C., Jr., and Lukefahr, M. 1978. Condensed tannin, an antibiotic chemical from Gossypium hirsutum. J. Insect Physiol. 24(2):113118.
- Duke, J.A. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. p. 161. In: ASA Special
Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. Am. Soc. Agron.
- FAO. 1980a. 1979. Production yearbook. vol. 33. FAO, Rome.
- Hartwell, J.L. 19671971. Plants used against cancer. A survey. Lloydia 3034.
- Jenkins, B.M. and Ebeling, J.M. 1985. Thermochemical properties of biomass
fuels. Calif. Agric. 39(5/6):1416.
- List, P.H. and Horhammer, L. 19691979. Hager's handbuch der pharmazeutischen
praxis. vols 26. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
- Morton, J.F. 1974. Folk remedies of the low country. E.A. Seemann Publishing,
Inc., Miami, FL.
- N.A.S. 1977a. Methane generation from human, animal, and agricultural wastes.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- Parnell, C.B., Jr. 1981. Cotton Gossypium hirsutum. p. 115122. In:
McClure, T.A. and Lipinsky, E.S. (eds.), CRC handbook of biosolar resources.
vol. II. Resource materials. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL.
- Pigg, D. 1980. Cottonseed breada new use for cotton. Texas Ag. Progress.
Winter 1980. p. 20.
- Pryde, E.H. and Doty, H.O., Jr. 1981. World fats and oils situation. p. 314.
In: Pryde, E.H., Princen, L.H., and Mukherjee, K.D. (eds.), New sources of fats
and oils. AOCS Monograph 9. American Oil Chemists' Society. Champaign, IL.
- Sistler, F.E. and Smith, P.A. 1981. A total energy model for cotton production.
Louisiana Ag. 24(4):2223.
- Vaing, G. and Delille, V. 1983. design, production, and tests of a low-powered
gas-driven prototype tractor for use in tropical countries. Machinisms Agricole
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw