Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: November 15, 2003
Citation: Chenault, K.D., Melouk, H.A. 2003. Disease incidence, yield, and grade comparisons of transgenic and non-transgenic peanut plants in field tests for Sclerotinia minor resistance [abstract]. Phytopathology. 93:S16. Technical Abstract: Fungal diseases of peanut, such as Sclerotinia blight caused by Sclerotinia minor, are responsible for increased production costs and yield losses of up to 50% for peanut producers in the Southwest, North Carolina, and Virginia. Traditional breeding practices have produced few cultivars with moderate disease resistance. Introduction of anti-fungal genes into peanut germplasm through genetic engineering offers an alternative method of control of Sclerotinia blight and other fungal diseases. Transgenic peanut plant lines containing anti-fungal genes have been produced from somatic embryos of the susceptible cultivar Okrun and have been tested for S. minor resistance under greenhouse and field conditions. The results presented here are from a three-year field trial study in which these transgenic peanut lines were subjected to high disease pressure with no application of fungicide for S. minor control. Disease incidence ranking was consistent over the three-year study with transgenic peanut lines averaging 32% less disease than the non-transgenic susceptible control. Three transgenic plant lines demonstrated disease resistance comparable to or greater than that of the non-transgenic resistant control while retaining excellent product yield and grade.