Cotton Trait Ontology

The lack of a common, structured vocabulary to describe cotton phenotypic traits is an obstacle for researchers wanting to understand the work of colleagues as well as for integration of QTL associated with these traits into CottonGen.  Here we present a Cotton Trait Ontology (a set of standardized and structured vocabularies for cotton traits) which aims to provide a central location with controlled vocabulary for phenotypic traits to improve discussion and collaboration among research groups within the cotton community.  The terms in the Cotton Trait Ontology were developed from trait evaluation data within five germplasm collections from four countries and from QTL-trait association data obtained from over one hundred peer-reviewed publications.  The vocabulary was established in 2016 by CottonGen with input from Drs. Lori Hinze, Richard Percy, and Russell Kohel (USDA-ARS, College Station, TX) and thereafter is continue the incremental validation along with the new data imported to CottonGen.

Standardized Descriptors and Rating Scale with Digital Image Used for the US National Cotton Germplasm Collection: A set of descriptive traits (descriptors) established by the US National Cotton Germplasm Collection (NCGC) to standardize the phenotyping and description of accessions and communicate this information to users of the NCGC.  These descriptors characterize variations in leaf, stem, bract, boll, petal, pollen, and stigma phenotypes.  For a more detailed description of these traits, the rating scale, and associated digital images, see  These descriptors are primarily inherited as qualitative traits whose expression shows negligible environmental interaction; therefore, characters are scored in a single replicate at a single location.

Go to 'Search Trait' to access/download all cotton trait data.
Go to 'Search Trait Descriptors' to access/download all cotton trait descriptor data.

Last update: 05/06/2023