The National Peanut Board, along with funding partner USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announces the awarding of three research grants focusing on genomics-enabled plant breeding.
Collaborating with two peanut industry funding partners, the Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative (SPRI) and the Peanut Foundation, the National Peanut Board was able to allocate $542,226. NIFA’s dollar-for-dollar matching funds yielded a total of $1,084,452 for production research.
“Funding production research to improve the economic condition of America’s peanut farmers is a core part of the Board’s mission,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of the National Peanut Board. “By pooling our industry’s peanut research dollars and partnering with NIFA, we can leverage our reach and help solve production issues in a far more efficient and effective manner than we would be able to do on our own.”
The National Peanut Board’s co-funding opportunity with NIFA is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. This is the second year the National Peanut Board has participated in the research co-funding program and is one of a handful of commodity boards to do so.
Here is a summary of the three research projects co-funded by NIFA and NPB:
University of Florida received $490,000 for the topic: Coordinated Adaptive Phenotyping for Improving Soil Water Acquisition and Utilization.
According to the research summary, “The long-term goal is to utilize the information obtained in this proposed research to develop peanut cultivars whose traits effectively utilize soil water resources. This goal will result in cultivars which have the potential to mitigate yield loss under water stress conditions and have greater yield potential in high yielding production scenarios where water limitation is less severe. This goal would have impacts across the entire peanut farming community and U.S. peanut production.”
Iowa State University received $140,140 for the topic: Characterizing the USDA Peanut Core Collection Through Genotype and Phenotype Information.
According to the research summary: “This project will produce genotype data for the core collection and will identify molecular markers associated with a set of 18 important peanut traits that have been identified in the collection. This information will be provided to all peanut breeders and researchers for further work identifying molecular markers that are associated with important traits.”
University of Georgia received $454,312 for the topic: Development of Peanut Lines with Superior Pest Resistance Using Wild Species and Marker-Assisted Breeding.
According to the research summary: “Here we are doing systematic analyses of the [wild] species, selecting the ones with the most valuable traits (disease/pest resistances), making them compatible with peanut, crossing them with high producing, but susceptible elite lines and making successive selections. The goal is to combine the good agronomical traits of the elite peanut lines with the high resistance of the wild species. This process will be aided by DNA-based markers, which makes plant selection more efficient. The use of wild species has been a game changer for other crop species, and we expect the same for peanut.”