Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding ResearchTitle: Genomics: An evolving science in peanut Author
Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Stalker, H.T., Weissinger, A.K., Milla-Lewis, S., Holbrook Jr, C.C. 2009. Genomics: An evolving science in peanut. Peanut Science. 36:2-10. Interpretive Summary: Genomic science is an approach of investigating and understanding the highly complex structures and processes that make up a phenotype. The goal of genomics is to integrated knowledge about how the genome is organized, regulated, and interacted to create structures, products, and activities. Peanut has lagged behind many other crops in the development and use of genomic science. To address this, a number of workshops have been held to discuss common goals and develop a national strategic plan. Teams of researchers, including molecular biologists, plant breeders, pathologists, and many other disciplines need to be developed to fully utilize the potential of genomics for peanut improvement.
Technical Abstract: Genomic science offers new tools to explore the function of genes and their effects on plant and animals. Arachis hypogaea is a polyploid species of relatively recent origin and molecular analysis with technologies available in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in little progress in the cultivated species because of apparent lack of molecular variation. Large numbers of polymorphisms existing in wild Arachis species led to evolutionary and gene introgression studies. High throughput genomic sequencing technologies have greatly expanded the possibilities for investigating gene function, but techniques are sufficiently expensive that most federal funding has been directed toward model species and ‘major’ crops. Peanut has lagged behind many other crops, but the number of researchers working on the species in the U.S. and internationally has greatly increased during recent years. In an effort to bring researchers who work with a number of legume crops together to discuss common goals, a national strategic planning workshop was held in 2001 which led to the U.S. Legume Crops Genomic Initiative. A second workshop was held in 2004 to develop a plan with specific objectives for cross-legume genomics research and to outline milestones for accomplishments. Specifically for peanut, a genomics strategic planning workshop was organized at Atlanta in 2004 by the American Peanut Council. A broad view of genomic science was adopted and goals were set by participants to include (a) improving the utility of genetic tools for peanut genomics research, (b) improving the efficacy of technology for gene manipulation in genomics, ( c) developing a framework for assembling the peanut genetic blueprint, (d) improving knowledge of gene identification and regulation, and (e) providing bioinformatic management of peanut biological information. Teams of researchers, including molecular biologists, plant breeders, pathologists, and many other disciplines need to be developed to fully utilize the potential of genomics for peanut improvement.