CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CARLOS MUNOZ-YAGUE / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Breeding coloured cotton. A pile of harvested coloured cotton together with spun thread. This cotton was produced by CIRAD, an agricultural research centre in France studying the genetics and growth of coloured cotton. The cotton plant Gossypium hirsutum has for centuries been bred for white cotton. Natural cotton, however, produces autumn colours as seen here. Colour change is controlled by one gene, with the colour allele dominating over white. CIRAD is breeding colour varieties 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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