Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tribe Gossypieae

Tribe Gossypieae has been redifined to include eight genera: Gossypium, Cephalohibiscus, Cienfuegosia, Hampea, Kokia, Gossypioides, Lebronnecia and Thespesia. It is specifically separated from the Hibisceae tribe based on embryo structure and the presence of pigment glands. These glands are associated with the capacity to synthesize the pigment gossypol. The Gossypieae appear to be unique in possessing these glands and this capacity.

More than 50 species of Gossypium are distributed in arid to semi-arid regions of the tropics and subtropics. Of these, four species were independently domesticated for their fiber (cotton) in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Gossypium species exhibit extraordinary morphological variation, with a diverse array of characteristics, ranging from trailing herbaceous perennials to 15m tall trees.