Notable Grants

Research Insights

Evaluating and Preserving Induced Genetic Variation in Cultivated Peanut        

The oilseed legume crop, peanut or groundnut, is highly nutritious and of global importance for production of oil, peanut butter, and confectionery products. The US is the most advanced with respect to improved cultivars and production practices that lead to high yields. Nevertheless, challenges to maintain and improve yields and quality persist. Addressing these challenges requires genetic resources that can provide diversity for breeding and selection of cultivars. Peanut has a narrow genetic base with limited diversity in the primary gene pool. Expanding diversity through wide hybridization is advancing; however, creating diversity within the primary gene pool is another approach of potential value for shorter-term gains towards breeding goals. With this in mind, we propose to evaluate and preserve a mutant collection initially created to screen for mutations in allergen genes. With current technological advances, this mutant resource can now be characterized for genome-wide mutations while also taking the forward genetics approach to identify phenotypic changes that may be related to an underlying mutation. We propose to sequence, phenotype, increase, and make publicly available 768 mutant lines and mutant genotypes. An additional group of mutant lines will be recovered from stored mutagenized seeds for future characterization. This project is directly relevant to the Commodity board co-funding topic for peanut, “Characterize natural and induced genetic variation across the diversity of cultivated peanut germplasm using innovative genetic technologies to provide a resource base for peanut genetic improvement focused on traits for biotic and abiotic stress resistance, quality, productivity and other beneficial traits”.


Amount: $490,000

PI: Peggy Ozias-Akins