Edible cottonseed one step closer to reality


In Texas, cottonseed from a transgenic cotton plant has received a USDA determination of non-regulated status moving the seed one step closer to becoming a nutritious food source for millions of people.

Cottonseed ground into flour to deliver protein to millions of people, a project to which Dr. Keerti Rathore at Texas A&M has devoted more than half his professional career, is one step closer to reality. Through a project funded by Cotton Incorporated, Rathore and the Texas A&M team developed a transgenic cotton plant with ultra-low gossypol levels in the seed that maintains normal plant-protecting gossypol levels in the rest of the plant.

Gossypol, while toxic to humans and monogastric animals such as pigs, birds, fish and rodents, is useful to cotton plants for defense against insects and pathogens. Cottonseed containing gossypol is used mainly as ruminant animal feed, either as whole seed or cottonseed meal after oil extraction.