Cotton belongs to the Malvaceae family. It is known as coton in French, cottone in Italian, algodon in Spanish, baumwolle in German, and algodao in Portuguese. Cotton is unique among cultivated crops in that four distinct species were domesticated — two in the Old World and two in the New World. Various theories were proposed regarding the origins and development of the New World tetraploid cotton grown today from the Old World diploid species.