Submitted to: American Peanut Research and Education 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. Resistance to Sclerotinia minor infection in transgenic peanut- A three year study [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Peanut Research and Education Society, July 8-11, 2003, Clearwater, Florida. 35:27. 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 were previously produced from somatic embryos of the susceptible cultivar Okrun and have been tested for S. minor resistance under greenhouse and field conditions. This report summarizes the results from a three year field trial study in which thirty-two of these transgenic peanut lines were subjected to high disease pressure with no application of fungicide for S. minor control. Transgenic peanut lines averaged a 32% reduction in S. minor infection when compared to an Okrun control with two lines consistently averaging levels of disease resistance indistinguishable from those of the resistant control Southwest Runner. Shelling percentage along with seed weight and grade for all transgenic lines were similar to that of the non-transgenic Okrun control. This study has successfully identified three transgenic peanut lines with extremely promising potential for commercial release pending further analysis. Performance of these transgenic peanut lines indicates there is great potential for the use of genetic engineering to control Sclerotinia blight incidence without pesticide use.