Auburn Professor Plays Role In Mapping Peanut Genome

| February 12, 2018 @ 5:00 am

By Paul HollisAuburn University

New and improved peanut varieties could be coming to growers and consumers more frequently following the successful mapping of the plant’s genetic code.

The Peanut Genome Consortium — an international team of scientists that includes Auburn University’s Charles Chen — unveiled the map of the cultivated peanut’s entire genome in January, marking the completion of a rigorous five-year research project.

The genetic breakthrough will allow scientists to pinpoint beneficial genes in cultivated and wild peanuts and use those in breeding new varieties. These traits can lead to greater yields, lower production costs,fewer losses to disease, improved processing traits, nutrition and safety, better flavor and virtually anything that is genetically determined by the peanut plant.“This project gives us the tools to accomplish a lot of different things,” said Chen, a plant breeder and geneticist in the College of Agriculture’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, and head of Auburn’s peanut breeding and genetics program.

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