Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380899

Research Project: SoyBase and the Legume Clade Database

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Legacy genetics of arachis cardenasii in the peanut crop shows the profound benefits of international seed exchange

item BERTIOLI, DAVID - University Of Georgia
item CLEVENGER, JOSH - Hudsonalpha Institute For Biotechnology
item GODOY, IGNACIO - Agronomic Institute
item STALKER, THOMAS - North Carolina State University
item WOOD, SHONA - University Of Southern Queensland
item SANTOS, JOAO - Agronomic Institute
item BALLEN-TABORDA, CAROLINA - University Of Georgia
item ABERNATHY, BRIAN - University Of Georgia
item AZEVEDO, VANIA - Embrapa
item Campbell, Jacqueline
item CHAVARRO, CAROLINA - University Of Georgia
item CHU, YE - University Of Georgia
item FARMER, ANDREW - National Center For Genome Resources
item FONCEKA, DANIEL - Regional Study Centre For Resistance And Adaptation To Drought
item Gao, Dongying
item GRIMWOOD, JANE - Hudsonalpha Institute For Biotechnology
item HALPIN, NEIL - Queensland Department Of Primary Industries & Fisheries
item KORANI, WALID - Hudsonalpha Institute For Biotechnology
item MICHELOTTO, MARCOS - Agencia Paulista De Tecnologia Dos Agronegocios/saa-Sp
item OZIAS-AKINS, PEGGY - University Of Georgia
item Vaughn, Justin
item YOUNGBLOOD, RAMEY - Mississippi State University
item MORETZSOHN, MARCIO - International Crops Research Institute For Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) - India
item WRIGHT, GRAEME - Peanut Company Of Australia
item JACKSON, SCOTT - Bayer Corporation
item Cannon, Steven
item Scheffler, Brian
item LEAL-BERTIOLI, SORAYA C. - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/29/2021
Publication Date: 9/21/2021
Citation: Bertioli, D.J., Clevenger, J., Godoy, I., Stalker, T., Wood, S., Santos, J., Ballen-Taborda, C., Abernathy, B., Azevedo, V., Campbell, J.D., Chavarro, C., Chu, Y., Farmer, A.D., Fonceka, D., Gao, D., Grimwood, J., Halpin, N., Korani, W., Michelotto, M.D., Ozias-Akins, P., Vaughn, J.N., Youngblood, R., Moretzsohn, M.C., Wright, G.C., Jackson, S.A., Cannon, S.B., Scheffler, B.E., Leal-Bertioli, S.M. 2021. Legacy genetics of Arachis cardenasii in the peanut crop shows the profound benefits of international seed exchange. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS). 118(38). Article e2104899118.

Interpretive Summary: The small number of crop species and their generally narrow genetics is a fundamental vulnerability to food security. Wild crop relatives are strategic sources of genetic diversity for the breeding of resistance to pests, diseases and environmental stresses. This work describes the incorporation of a wild peanut relative, Arachis cardenasii, into domesticated peanut, Arachis hypogaea. This genetic incorporation, initiated by scientists beginning in 1967, involved complex and challenging genetic crosses. Subsequent breeding cycles substantially obscured this contribution from the wild relative. However, the genetic legacy from this breeding work can now be seen in enhanced peanut cultivars in at least 30 countries, on all continents where peanut is grown. This work has improved food security and provided economic and environmental benefits. This study highlights the importance of wild species in breeding, and the unintended consequences of current restrictions on international trade in plant material.

Technical Abstract: The narrow genetics of most crops is a fundamental vulnerability to food security. This makes wild crop relatives a strategic resource of genetic diversity that can be used for crop improvement and adaptation to new agricultural challenges. Here we uncover the contribution of one wild species accession, Arachis cardenasii GKP 10017, to the peanut crop (A. hypogaea) that was initiated by complex hybridizations in the 1960s and propagated by international seed exchange. However, until this study, the global scale of dispersal of genetic contributions from this wild accession had been obscured by the multiple germplasm transfers, breeding cycles, and unrecorded genetic mixing between lineages that had occurred over the years. By genetic analysis and pedigree research, we identified A. cardenasii-enhanced, disease resistant cultivars in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. These cultivars provide widespread improved food security, and environmental and economic benefits. This study emphasizes the importance of wild species and collaborative networks of international expertise for crop improvement. However, it also highlights the consequences of the implementation of a patchwork of restrictive national laws and sea changes in attitudes regarding germplasm which followed in the wake of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Today, the botanical collections and multiple seed exchanges which enable benefits such as those revealed by this study, are drastically reduced. The research reported here underscores the vital importance of ready access to germplasm in ensuring long-term world food security.