Every year, Georgia farmers produce half of the peanuts grown in the United States. In the field, they use tried-and-true disease-fighting strategies. Modern peanut varieties have few genetic barriers to some of the most severe disorders. This is why peanut producers must carefully plan when to plant, irrigate, and apply pesticides and fungicides to prevent disease infection.
Peanut breeders are working to find disease-fighting genes in peanut's wild ancestors. This could make peanut plants inherently immune to disease while removing the need for some medicines. The researchers have created three breeding lines from wild cousins of peanut. The novel lines are immensely beneficial for Generic Crop Protection Market as it focuses on genetic breeding to improve peanuts' profitability and long-term viability.
Peanut relatives that grow wild in South America are almost immune to some diseases that may wreak havoc on a crop of peanuts. There are numerous hurdles in harnessing the genetic resources of these wild relatives. The first is overcoming the fact that today's peanuts are tetraploids (plants with four chromosomes), but the ancient relatives are diploids (plants with just two chromosomes).
The second problem in developing commercial peanut cultivars using wild species DNA is maintaining modern peanut's beneficial characteristics. The lines produced by peanut's distant cousins are effective at fighting disease. However, they have low yields and produce tiny nuts that aren't commercially marketable for products like peanut butter. Another problem is that they have other physical characteristics that make farming difficult, such as weak pegs that leave nuts in the soil at harvest. Peanut pegs, or roots, extend from the blossom into the earth, and the ends of the pegs produce peanut pods in the ground.
Researchers for the present experiment combined synthetic tetraploid lines from wild species with current peanut types after the artificial tetraploid lines. They chose plants with disease resistance features while also finding the genetic markers for those qualities. Plant breeders can thus more accurately choose plants from wild species that have the best genes while retaining any destructive features. This linkage drag results in the achieved hybrid plants receiving good and unfavorable features. It could essentially result in undersized seeds, weak pegs, trailing (low, horizontal) growth, or low yield.
Plant breeders and farmers will now adapt more swiftly to new challenges. This would be possible if they continued to investigate wild relatives and uncover disease resistance. A new disease may defeat a single resistance gene. However, combining various sources of resistance from wild species expands peanut researchers' toolkit to address the ever-changing difficulties of peanut production.
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