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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Protection and Management Research » Research » Research Project #425281

Research Project: Developing Genomic Approaches to Improve Resistance to Diseases and Aflatoxin Contamination in Peanut and Corn

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Project Number: 6048-21000-025-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 19, 2013
End Date: Feb 27, 2018

1. Evaluate molecular markers and saturated genetic maps that can be used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with important agronomic traits of peanut and develop effective marker-assisted selection methods for peanut breeders. 1.A. Construction and use of saturated genetic map for identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with disease resistance and oil quality. 1.B. Application of marker-assisted selection method for breeding to combine two traits into one genotype. 2. Evaluate corn germplasm for drought tolerance, understand the underlying molecular mechanisms, and develop molecular markers for identifying drought tolerant corn germplasm. 2.A. Identification and re-sequencing of genes in response to drought stress and development of polymorphic markers associated with drought tolerance in corn. 2.B. Corn germplasm and breeding lines re-evaluation for preharvest aflatoxin resistance and drought tolerance and genotyping with the polymorphic markers for association study.

1. Genotype and phenotype data for a genetic segregation population can be associated with QTLs and markers for trait of study and a genetic linkage map could be constructed. Peanut germplasm accessions have variable levels of disease resistance. The mapping population(s) will be genotyped using primarily SSRs, and ultimately the sequence-based markers will be added into this collection when Peanut Genome Sequence Project will be completed soon, in which the four parental line, Tifrunner, GT-C20, SunOleic 97R and NC94022, and their RILs will be sequenced. Field phenotyping for TSWV, leaf spots and other agronomic traits will be conducted for at least two years and at least two different locations with at least three replications. 2. Marker-assisted breeding will be employed as an example to combine two different traits with known linked marker(s) for faster and accurate transfer of trait from donor to elite lines through a back cross program or pedigree selection. Two traits can be combined into one productive peanut cultivar. Available markers for nematode, rust, and high oleic traits and new markers identified for TSWV and leaf spots will be compiled. The outcome of these efforts will enable more precise and effective molecular breeding for peanut improvement. 3. Drought stress during the late kernel development enhances aflatoxin contamination before harvest. The differences in drought-tolerance or -sensitivity of different corn accessions will display different profiles of expressed genes in developing kernels in response to A. flavus infection and the drought stress. It is possible to identify different genes responding to drought stress, and characterize the genes that may be associated with drought tolerance in different corn lines. Genes/markers associated with drought tolerance will be identified as “candidate” genes for association studies of resistance to Aspergillus flavus and preharvest aflatoxin contamination (PAC) and used in germplasm screening for drought tolerance. 4. Drought tolerance is a characteristic that has the potential to serve as an indirect selection tool for resistance to preharvest aflatoxin contamination (PAC). The outcome of these efforts will enable effective method to screen germplasm for drought tolerance and resistance to PAC in breeding program using marker-assisted selection.