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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374322

Research Project: SoyBase and the Legume Clade Database

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Evaluating two different models of peanut’s origin

item BERTIOLI, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item ABERNATHY, BRIAN - University Of Georgia
item SEIJO, GUILLERMO - Instituto De Botánica Del Nordeste
item CLEVENGER, JOSH - University Of Georgia
item Cannon, Steven

Submitted to: Nature Genetics
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2020
Publication Date: 5/11/2020
Citation: Bertioli, D.J., Abernathy, B., Seijo, G., Clevenger, J., Cannon, S.B. 2020. Evaluating two different models of peanut’s origin. Nature Genetics.

Interpretive Summary: Peanut is an important crop in the U.S. and worldwide. Understanding peanut's origin and evolution is important to further improvement of the crop. Cultivated peanut is distinct from its wild ancestors in that it resulted from the merger of two species, giving a new third species (Arachis hypogaea, "peanut") that has twice as many chromosomes as the progenitor wild species. The timing of this genome merger has implications for understanding how peanut has subsequently evolved as a crop - for example, for tracing when new varieties have originated and when they have moved to various peanut-growing areas around the world. The main result in this scientific communication is to establish that peanut originated relatively recently (within 10,000 years), as the merger between two still-existing wild species. The merger involved transfer (probably by early human inhabitants in what is now Bolivia) of one of these species from the natural population of that species, about 400 kilometers away. This information will inform plant breeding efforts - for example, in the re-creation of mergers of other wild peanut species in order to incorporate disease resistance traits in those species into cultivated peanut.

Technical Abstract: Multiple lines of evidence indicate a recent (<10,000 years ago) origin of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) and provide a foundation for understanding the evolution of this important crop. In 2019, two publications - Bertioli et al. (2019) and Zhuang et al. (2019) - both in the May 2019 issue of Nature Genetics - described the independent genome assemblies of two peanut cultivars. Those publications came to very different conclusions about the timing of the origin of tetraploid peanut: Bertioli et al. concluding an origin around 10,000 years ago, and Zhuang et al. concluding an origin around 450,000 years ago. The "Matters Arising" communication between the author groups of the respective 2019 peanut genome manuscripts examines the basis for the differing results, confirming both the age of polyploidy as <10,000 years and the identity of both peanut ancestral species as A. duranensis and A. ipaënsis.