Icrisat announces DNA sequencing of groundnut

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International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid and Tropics (Icrisat) today announced a scientific break through on the DNA sequencing of the groundnut, which is expected to help in developing the improved groundnut varieties with enhanced traits such as increased pod and oil yield, drought and heat tolerance, and greater disease resistance.

A team of 51 scientists from 9 institutes in China, India, the US and Australia, including the Icrisat have decoded the complete DNA sequencing of the ancestor of the groundnut, the diploid A-genome.

The other significant traits this could help develop include aflatoxin-free, nutrition-rich and allergen-free varieties. The breakthrough also provides insights into geocarpy - a unique reproductive process of the groundnut, oil biosynthesis and allergens, it said.

"This study has not just provided the full genome sequence to help plant breeders across the globe to develop more productive and more resilient groundnut varieties in a faster manner, but also provides us an insight to geocarpy, a reproductive process where the flowers grown on the stem go inside the soil and pod formations occur," said Rajeev Varshney, Co-Coordinator of Genome Sequencing Project and Research Program Director, Genetic Gains program at Icrisat.

According to David Bergvinson, director general, Icrisat, this will provide an efficient road map for sustainable and resilient groundnut production for improved livelihoods of small holder farmers particularly in the marginal environments of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

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