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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403556

Research Project: Improvement and Maintenance of Peanuts, Peanut Products and Related Peanut Product Flavor, Shelf Life, Functional Characteristics

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Title: GWAS with principal component analysis identify QTLs associated with main peanut flavor-related traits

item ZHANG, HUI - South China Agricultural University
item Dean, Lisa
item Wang, Ming
item Dang, Phat
item Lamb, Marshall
item CHEN, CHARLES - Auburn University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2023
Publication Date: 9/15/2023
Citation: Zhang, H., Dean, L.L., Wang, M.L., Dang, P.M., Lamb, M.C., Chen, C.Y. 2023. GWAS with principal component analysis identify QTLs associated with main peanut flavor-related traits. Frontiers in Plant Science. 14:1204415.

Interpretive Summary: The possibility of controlling or enhancing peanut flavor using genetic technology would allow for positive enhancement of one of the most important factors of consumer acceptance of peanuts. Two factors which contribute to peanut flavor are the total sugar content and the sucrose content which is the major sugar in peanuts. In addition, tocopherol or vitamin E content contributes to the nutritional profile of peanuts. This study examined a select group of cultivars from the US peanut germplasm collection from crops grown in the years 2013 and 2014 at the USDA ARS National Peanut Laboratory fields in Dawson, GA, USA for genetic markers that could be associated with these components. Sections of the DNA identified using a molecular marker technique were associated with the sugar contents at acceptable levels of significance. No relationship to the tocopherol content was identified. The identification of these genetic markers will allow for manipulation using plant breeding techniques that could lead to enhanced peanut flavor and consumer acceptance.

Technical Abstract: Peanut flavor is a complex and important trait affected by raw material and processing technology owing to its significant impact on consumer preference. In this research, principal component analysis (PCA) on 33 representative traits associated with flavor revealed that total sugars, sucrose, and total tocopherols provided more information related to peanut flavor. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using 102 U.S. peanut mini-core accessions were performed to study associations between 12,526 single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers and the three traits. A total of 7 and 22 significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified to be significantly associated with total sugars and sucrose, respectively. Among these QTLs, four and eight candidate genes for the two traits were mined. In addition, two and five stable QTLs were identified for total sugars and sucrose in both years separately. No significant QTLs were detected for total tocopherols. The results from this research provide useful knowledge about the genetic control of peanut flavor, which will aid in clarifying the molecular mechanisms of flavor research in peanuts.