Peanut Genetics

Wild peanut genetics help scientists develop new varieties with improved resistance

Peanut is a valuable crop but is plagued by diseases and pests. The use of chemical control accounts for over 30% of the total crop production cost. Genetic resistance is the best form of control, but cultivated peanut varieties have poor resistance to many pests and pathogens. Wild peanut species, however, harbor very strong resistance to stress, disease and pests.

University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station crop and soil scientists collaborated with peanut breeding programs in the United States, Brazil, Senegal and Uganda to incorporate traits derived from wild peanut species into elite local peanut varieties. Six new varieties have been released in Senegal and three in Brazil. New, improved U.S. varieties are expected soon. This will reduce farmer costs, increase yield, reduce fuel use and lower the environmental impact of farming.