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Hands hold a green cotton boll in cotton field

Hands hold a green cotton boll in cotton field

G280/0269

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Credit

CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Breeding coloured cotton. Hands of a researcher check a boll of green cotton in an experimental cotton field. This study at CIRAD, a French agricultural centre, is researching the genetics and growth of coloured cotton. The cotton plant Gossypium hirsutum has for centuries been bred for white cotton. Natural cotton, however, produces colours from cream to brown to green. Colour is controlled by one gene, with the colour allele dominating over white. Here, colour varieties are bred to grow in the colder French climate. Woven coloured cotton is no more expensive than dyed white cotton, and ecologically it is safer.

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