Main Means and Methods to Improve the Ecological and Application Performance of Cotton Fiber
There’re many different kinds of fiber types in textile industry like cotton fiber, polyester fiber, lyocell ficer. We’ve talked about fiber types in previous blog with brief ideas. We also talked about the cotton properties before. Recently I’ve noticed a very interesting post on Quora, why every textile engineering student need to study Ecology. You may find the answers in my previous blog. But today, as a textile engineer, I’m bringing you a more detailed post about the main means and methods to improve the ecological and application performance of cotton fiber from the Ecological perspective. To help you know more deeper knowledge about cotton fiber with ecological ideas.
The ecological improvement of natural fiber
Definition of Cotton Fiber
As a plant cellulose fiber, cotton fiber has excellent ecological properties and can be completely biodegradable. Waste textiles can also be recycled and reused. The fiber is soft and comfortable. It has good spinnability, moisture absorption and dyeability, etc. The human body and the environment are harmless. However, cotton fiber also has certain shortcomings. Its growth period is long and there are many insect pests. In the process of cotton cultivation, pesticides are often applied to it, resulting in drug residues in the soil and groundwater and the fiber material itself: In addition, the cotton fiber itself is easy to pick up. Wrinkle, easy to mold, etc. Therefore, in order to eliminate the pollution during the cultivation process, improve the performance of cotton fiber, and further improve the ecological performance of cotton fiber research has become a focus of recent fiber materials. The use of genetic engineering to improve the insect resistance and fiber quality in the growth of cotton fiber and the production of colored cotton are currently the hot spots in the ecological development of cotton fiber.
Improving the Insect Resistance of Cotton
The use of transgenic insect resistance has many advantages compared with spraying, no drug residues, non-toxic to non-biological targets, and also has a protective effect on plant organs that are difficult to spray or cannot be sprayed. In the field of genetic engineering research on cotton insect resistance, the most successful domestic one is to use the insecticidal gene of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). After Bt gene was introduced into cotton, the insect-resistant cotton showed strong resistance to insects. The second is the protease inhibitor gene. The role of the protease inhibitor gene and the dominant center of insect intestinal protease itself is the key to its anti-insect mechanism. This active center is often the conserved region of the enzyme. Therefore, compared with other anti-insect proteins, insects produce resistance through mutations. The probability of being sexually affected is very small. Since insects are less likely to be resistant to two insect-resistant proteins at the same time, protease inhibitor genes can be used in combination with other insect-resistant elements to cultivate bivalent insect-resistant crops to expand the insect-resistant spectrum of transgenic plants and improve Anti-insect effect. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Institute of Genetics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have combined the cowpea trypsin inhibitor (CP) and soybean Kunitz trypsin inhibitor (SKTI) genes with the Bt protein gene, respectively, and have obtained double insect resistance effects. Insect-resistant cotton transformed plants.
Improving the Quality of Cotton Fiber
The use of genetic engineering can also improve the quality of cotton fiber. Isolation and identification of genes that play an important role in cotton fiber strength, length and fineness. It is generally believed that genes specifically expressed by fiber cells may play an important role in fiber development. Several such genes have been discovered, some of them are expressed in the early stages of cotton fiber development, and some are only expressed in the later stages of fiber development. Although the function of these genes in fiber development is not clear, their specific expression and expression in fiber cells are regulated by developmental programs, indicating that different stages of fiber development may be controlled by different genes. Therefore, the isolation and identification of these genes can provide target genes for the improvement of cotton fiber quality.
Another way is to select potential genes from other organisms. Import it into cotton to improve fiber quality. For example, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a natural degradable thermoplastic polymer with physical and chemical properties similar to polypropylene. Many bacteria can produce this substance. Since it is naturally degradable, it will not cause pollution. One potential method is to synthesize it in the cell cavity of cotton without changing other properties of cotton. John and Keller transferred the bacterial reductase and Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) synthesis genes into cotton, and successfully produced PHB in the cotton fiber, thereby producing a new type of cotton with chemical fiber characteristics. The PHB content only accounts for the total fiber. 0.34% of the weight. This new type of cotton still retains the original characteristics of water absorption and softness, but its heat preservation, strength, and wrinkle resistance are better than ordinary cotton fibers.
The Development of Colored Cotton
Colored cotton is also called natural colored cotton and colored cotton. It is colored cotton cultivated by modern bioengineering techniques such as hybridization and genetic modification. The color of colored cotton is that during the formation, growth and development of fiber cells, certain pigments are deposited in the lumen cells of its single fibers. The more pigments deposited, the darker the fiber color. This chromosome is also called a mutant, which is mainly controlled by genetic genes and is less affected by the environment. In the process of cultivation and planting, colored cotton requires only the application of organic fertilizers, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides; the textile processing process does not need to be bleached, boiled, or dyed, so it has excellent ecological properties.
To reduce the pollution and less wastage is our main responsibility for everyone in textile industry. It’s a better way for us to know more knowledges from ecological and environmental perspective. Hope you get some ideas from my post and please stay tuned for the next.