Peanut researchers create disease-resistant hybrids


Credit: Daniele Pellati/public area

Georgia farmers produce half the peanuts grown within the U.S. every year, utilizing confirmed manufacturing practices to combat illness within the discipline. In reality, fashionable peanut varieties carry little genetic defenses in opposition to a few of the extra devastating illnesses, so peanut farmers fastidiously take into account when to plant, whether or not to irrigate and when to use fungicide and insecticide to maintain these illnesses from infecting the plant.

That routine may turn into simpler as peanut breeders work to mine peanut’s wild relations for disease-fighting genes that will make peanut crops naturally proof against illness, whereas eliminating the necessity for some chemical compounds.

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University of Georgia horticulture scientist Ye Juliet Chu is the most recent peanut researcher within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to provide three breeding traces from peanut’s wild relations. Chu works with UGA plant geneticist Peggy Ozias-Akins and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service peanut breeder Corley Holbrook in Tifton, Georgia, the place she focuses on bettering profitability and sustainability of peanut by means of genetic breeding.

The new traces Chu produced have been offered within the Journal of Plant Registrations final fall.

Peanut relations that develop wild in South America are nearly resistant to a few of the illnesses that may devastate a peanut crop. The first problem in tapping into these wild relations’ genetic assets is to beat the truth that the peanuts grown in the present day are tetraploids—crops with 4 chromosomes—whereas the traditional relations are diploids, containing simply two chromosomes.

Over the previous a number of years, UGA researchers, notably within the Wild Peanut Lab in Athens and within the Ozias-Akins lab in Tifton, have been creating tetraploid hybrids from 16 wild species, utilizing totally different pairings as dad and mom and testing for illness resistance and different fascinating qualities.

The second problem to creating marketable peanut varieties with wild species’ genes is maintaining the advantageous qualities of contemporary peanut. The traces produced by peanut’s distant cousins could also be nice at combating illness, however they’ve low yield, produce tiny nuts that are not commercially marketable for merchandise similar to peanut butter, and produce other bodily traits that are not conducive to farming, similar to weak pegs that would depart nuts within the soil at harvest. Peanut pegs, or roots, develop from the flower into the soil, and the pods of peanuts kind within the floor from the ends of the pegs.

Once they’ve the artificial tetraploid traces from the wild species, Chu and different researchers cross them with fashionable peanut varieties. They choose offspring that present illness resistance whereas figuring out the genetic markers for these resistance traits. That means plant breeders can extra exactly choose the crops which have one of the best genes from the wild species with out holding on to any detrimental traits. This linkage drag—inheriting the unhealthy traits together with the nice ones—may go away the brand new hybrid crops with small seeds, weak pegs, trailing (low, horizontal) development or low yield.

The three varieties registered by Chu are constructed from 5 peanut relations and present resistance to leaf spot, the most expensive illness for peanut farm administration. At least six to eight fungicide sprays are wanted to maintain leaf spot at bay. One of the three registered varieties is also proof against tomato noticed wilt virus, an necessary illness that nearly worn out peanut manufacturing in Georgia within the Nineteen Nineties.

Continuing to discover the wild relations and discover resistance to illnesses will enable plant breeders and farmers flexibility to reply extra rapidly to new challenges. A single resistance gene may be thwarted by a brand new illness, however harnessing a number of sources of resistance from wild species enriches the toolbox of peanut researchers to fight the ever-evolving challenges of peanut manufacturing.

New peanut has a wild past and domesticated present

More info:
Ye Chu et al, Registration of three peanut allotetraploid interspecific hybrids proof against late leaf spot illness and tomato noticed wilt, Journal of Plant Registrations (2021). DOI: 10.1002/plr2.20146

Peanut researchers create disease-resistant hybrids (2022, January 20)
retrieved 20 January 2022

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