Peanut genomics is very challenging due to its inherent problem of genetic architecture. Blockage of gene flow from diploid wild relatives to the tetraploid; cultivated peanut, recent polyploidization combined with self pollination, and the narrow genetic base of the primary genepool have resulted in low genetic diversity that has remained a major bottleneck for genetic improvement of peanut. Harnessing the rich source of wild relatives has been negligible due to differences in ploidy level as well as genetic drag and undesirable alleles for low yield. Lack of appropriate genomic resources has severely hampered molecular breeding activities, and this crop remains among the less-studied crops. The last five years, however, have witnessed accelerated development of genomic resources such as development of molecular markers, genetic and physical maps, generation of expressed sequenced tags (ESTs), development of mutant resources, and functional genomics platforms that facilitate the identification of QTLs and discovery of genes associated with tolerance/resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses and agronomic traits. Molecular breeding has been initiated for several traits for development of superior genotypes. The genome or at least gene space sequence is expected to be available in near future and this will further accelerate use of biotechnological approaches for peanut improvement.
Pandey, M.K.; Monyo, E.; Ozias-Akins, P.; Liang, X.; Guimarães, P.; Nigam, S.N.; Upadhyaya, H.D.; Janila, P.; Zhang, X.; Guo, B.; Cook, D.R.; Bertioli, D.J.; Michelmore, R.; Varshney, R.K. Advances in Arachis genomics for peanut improvement. Biotechnology Advances (2012) 30 (3) 639-651. [DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2011.11.001]