|Cotton naturally makes a toxic compound in its leaves and seeds called gossypol. Gossypol is very useful in the leaves, as it helps prevent damage from insects (left panel). Cotton seeds are very nutritious, but their use as feed is limited by the gossypol. There is a natural mutation (called glandless) that cannot make gossypol (center panel). Whereas seeds from glandless plants make very good feed, the leaves are destroyed by insects. The best of all worlds would be to keep gossypol in the leaves, but not in the seeds (right panel). Such an ideal situation was produced via genetic engineering. Not commercialized.|
Comments? Questions? Additions? Please write.