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Legacy genetics of Arachis cardenasii in the peanut crop shows the profound benefits of international seed exchange

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Bertioli, D. J., Clevenger, J., Godoy, I. J., Stalker, H. T., Wood, S., Santos, J. F., Ballén-Taborda, C., Abernathy, B., Azevedo, V., Campbell, J., 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., Youngblood, R., Moretzsohn, M. C., Wright, G. C., Jackson, S. A., Cannon, S. B., Scheffler, B. E. and Leal-Bertioli, S. C. 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, 118 (38). e2104899118.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2104899118

Publisher URL: http://www.pnas.org/content/118/38/e2104899118.abstract


A great challenge for humanity is feeding its growing population while minimizing ecosystem damage and climate change. Here, we uncover the global benefits arising from the introduction of one wild species accession to peanut-breeding programs decades ago. This work emphasizes the importance of biodiversity to crop improvement: peanut cultivars with genetics from this wild accession provided improved food security and reduced use of fungicide sprays. However, this study also highlights the perilous consequences of changes in legal frameworks and attitudes concerning biodiversity. These changes have greatly reduced the botanical collections, seed exchanges, and international collaborations which are essential for the continued diversification of crop genetics and, consequently, the long-term resilience of crops against evolving pests and pathogens and changing climate.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 (Arachis hypogaea) that was initiated by complex hybridizations in the 1960s and propagated by international seed exchange. However, until this study, the global scale of the 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 that 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.Genome sequence, genotyping, pedigree information, and yield trial data have been deposited in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PeanutBase, and USDA Data Repository (NCBI: JADQCP000000000) (14). Datasets S1–S6 are available at USDA Ag Data Commons: https://data.nal.usda.gov/dataset/data-legacy-genetics-arachis-cardenasii-peanut-crop-v2 (17). All other study data are included in the article and/or supporting information.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Open access
Keywords:peanut wild species disease resistance food security Convention on Biological Diversity
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Plant culture > Seeds. Seed technology
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Nuts
Live Archive:27 Sep 2021 00:52
Last Modified:27 Sep 2021 00:52

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