Peanut Genome Insights May Help Design Hypoallergenic Peanuts

These findings may not only help to prevent allergic reactions, but also boost peanut crop productivity and nutritional value.

AsianScientist (Jun. 9, 2016) – An international team of researchers has identified genes in peanuts that, when altered, will be able to prevent an allergic response in humans.

The findings, carried out by scientists from China, India, Australia and the US, including from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Peanuts are an important global food source and one the most economically important crops. They are grown in more than 100 countries, with approximately 42 million tons produced every year. However, around 220-250 million people worldwide suffer from food allergies, with peanuts being one of the most common allergens.

The draft genome of Aprachis duranensis, the peanut A-genome progenitor, provides a major source of candidate genes for fructification, oil biosynthesis and allergens. The millions of structural variations that were discovered may someday be used as genetic markers for the development of improved peanut varieties through genomics-assisted breeding.

Professor Rajeev Varshney, research program director from ICRISAT who co-led the study, said the findings were an important achievement for the agricultural industry and farming community.

“This discovery brings us that one step closer to creating peanuts that will have significant benefits globally,” Varshney said. “We will also be able to produce peanuts that have more health benefits with improved nutritional value.”

The article can be found at: Chen et al. (2016) Draft Genome of the Peanut A-genome Progenitor (Arachis duranensis) Provides Insights into Geocarpy, Oil Biosynthesis, and Allergens.


Source: University of Western Australia; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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