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Welcome to the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Wheat, Peanut, and Other Field Crops Research Unit (WPOFCU). Geneticists and other research scientists at WPOFCU discover and develop genetic resistance and other management technologies for insect pests and diseases of wheat, peanut, sorghum, and barley.
Mesa barley – the first RWA-resistant winter feed barley variety
Remote-Controlled Peanut Phenotyping Cart
Lariat peanut was released cooperatively in 2016 by the USDA-ARS and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. This high-yielding runner-type peanut cultivar is high-oleic and highly resistant to the soil borne fungal disease Sclerotinia blight.
The invasive sugarcane aphid emerged as a severe pest of grain and forage sorghum in the southern United States in 2013. Research at WPOFCU is focused on discovering genetic resistance in sorghum germplasm and varieties, breeding sugarcane aphid resistance into sorghum lines, and developing technologies for effective sugarcane aphid management.
A side by side field comparison of a Russian wheat aphid resistant barley germplasm line developed at WPOFCU (left) to a widely grown barley variety without resistance to injury caused by the aphid (right).
Mycelium (white cottony threads) and sclerotia (dark round overwintering structures) of the soilborne pathogen Sclerotinia minor on a peanut stem. Sclerotinia minor is one of the most important diseases of peanut in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.
The mission of Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research is to 1) develop cereal crop germplasm with inherent protection against insects and environmental growth stresses by using genetic techniques; 2) define biological and cultural control methods, life histories, genetics, biochemical interactions, and economic importance and develop improved agroecosystem management systems; 3) develop basic peanut germplasm for use in breeding programs to improve peanut cultivars in Southwest peanut-growing areas, with emphasis on host resistance to disease, environmental stress, and nutritional qualities; and 4) develop basic knowledge of mechanisms that convey resistance in peanut to diseases and environmental stress.