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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443968

Research Project: Wild Thing: Exploring Wild Species to Reduce Aflatoxin Contamination in Cultivated Peanut

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6044-21600-001-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 28, 2023
End Date: Aug 27, 2025

With ongoing issues with aflatoxin facing the peanut industry, there is renewed interest in developing a multifaceted approach designed to mitigate aflatoxin contamination. Current breeding efforts for aflatoxin contamination are being done in cultivated peanut backgrounds which have the advantage of potentially being high yielding and possessing other favorable agronomic traits such as growth behavior, maturity timing, oil quality, and seed size. However, these cultivars have a narrow genetic base inherent to the history of cultivated peanuts, its relatively recent formation as the allotetraploid peanut we know today, and its limited ability to outcross. Unfortunately, this also means that the potential for identifying a cultivar with reduced aflatoxin contamination or resistance to A. flavus growth and infection is limited. To make significant genetic gains in mitigating aflatoxin contamination we need to focus on the incorporation of new alleles from wild sources. Thus, the objectives of this research are: 1. To perform a screen of peanut wild species, induced allotetraploid, and introgression peanut lines to identify entries that may serve as donors of alleles associated with reduced aflatoxin contamination. 2. To perform genetic analyses to identify wild segments and develop markers associated with reduced aflatoxin contamination.

The Cooperator will collaborate with ARS in conducting research to develop reduce aflatoxin contamination in US peanuts. Specifically, the cooperators will work with ARS in the following approaches: 1) Utilize the collection of wild species of peanut is readily available with the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit in Griffin, GA for use in screening for reduced aflatoxin contamination traits for interspecific hybridization purposes. This includes accessions of the wild progenitors of cultivated peanut, A. duranensis and A. ipaensis, and many other wild Arachis accessions. And 2) Using this information combined with previously obtained genotypic data, genetic mapping will be performed to identify candidate genes and markers associated with reduced aflatoxin contributed by the introgressed wild species genetics. Individual lines possessing the markers/genes associated with reduced aflatoxin will then be selected for future investigation into the functions of the introgressed wild genes. The results of the various research components will be published in refereed journals, trade magazines, or extension articles, presented at professional and grower meetings. Information from the research will be integrated into standard peanut processing procedures.