Peanut is second only to soybean in national and global economic importance among the food legumes. Worldwide, 36.5 million metric tons of peanuts are produced thrive on 25.2 million hectares. The annual farmgate income for U.S.-produced peanuts is $1 billion. The long-term competitiveness of the peanut industry in the U.S. United States hinges on the ability of breeders to integrate new genomic and molecular technologies into peanut breeding and variety development programs. Narrow genetic diversity has hindered progress in the development and application of genomics tools and resources to problems of biological and agricultural importance in peanuts. The wild gene pool of peanut is an important source of genetic diversity for protecting the crop against environmental stresses, insect and disease pests, and for enhancing nutritional quality. The National Research Initiative (NRI) Plant Genome Program granted $500,000 to researchers at the University of Georgia to develop DNA sequence and DNA marker resources to facilitate gene discovery and mapping and marker-assisted selection in breeding programs. Researchers will genetically map the genomes of two wild species will be genetically mapped to create a resource for locating and manipulating genes underlying economically important traits in peanut. This research will have a long-term benefit to the peanut industry and society through the development of peanut varieties with superior nutritional and agronomic qualities will provide long-term benefits to the peanut industry and society.
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