Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research
Project Number: 6048-21000-032-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2027
1) To test the hypothesis that drought-induced spikes in aflatoxin contamination are caused by ROS in peanut-A. flavus crosstalk using transgenic and genome editing approaches. 2) To examine the potential of nanoparticles as an RNA interference delivery system for non-GMO reductions in aflatoxin contamination in peanut. 3) To use comparative genomics and the generation of an A. flavus pangenome to identify novel regulators of aflatoxin production and pathogenicity-associated traits.
(1) Objective 1 and the examination of transgenic-based antioxidant gene expression manipulation, peanut lines at the T2 generation have already been generated containing DNA vectors to either overexpress antioxidant genes or silence them with CRISPR-Cas9. These lines will be advanced to the T3 generation to generate materials homozygous for the vector sequences. These T3 materials will then be examined for antioxidant gene expression, CRISPR activity-related DNA editing, ROS accumulation, antioxidant enzyme activity, DNA sequencing to identify vector insertion location in the peanut genome, drought tolerance assays, and kernel and greenhouse-based trials for aflatoxin contamination post-inoculation.