To accelerate the development of improved groundnut varieties, ICRISAT’s groundnut breeding team is gearing up to provide seed to research partners for multi-environment testing (MET) during the 2022 rainy season.

Two product profiles are being targeted by the team. Resistance to late leaf spot (LLS) as well as rust are key traits for both profiles. To select lines with resistance to LLS and rust, markers for two major QTLs that correspond to the resistance to these diseases were used.

Selection was done for early maturity to provide short-duration groundnuts for oil and home consumption, which is Target Product Profile 1. Target Product Profile 2 caters to the food and confectionary markets, which prefer kernel grades of 40-50 and 50-60 counts per ounce. Hence, kernel size distribution is a key trait.

Dr Arvind Kumar, DDG-R, ICRISAT, during a tour of the groundnut improvement facilities, complimented the Crop Improvement Operations Team (CIOT) staff for achieving a high rate of success in groundnut hybridization, a painstaking effort that takes high level of skill to emasculate, pollinate, tag and harvest crossed pods. Hybridization facility established at ICRISAT with raised bays facilitates the process in groundnut.

The DDG-R’s visit was facilitated by Drs Janila Pasupuleti, Principal Scientist-Groundnut Breeding; Hari Sudini, Principal Scientist-Groundnut Pathology; A Ashok, Product Placement Lead; Sobhan Sajja, Cluster Leader-CIOT, and rest of the groundnut improvement team.

Dr Ashok shared plans for ongoing groundnut breeder seed production during rainy season of 2021 and plans for post-rainy seasons during 2021/22 to meet the targets. Explaining the use of equipment like wet plant thresher, Dr Sajja mentioned the thresher enabled processing of a recent harvest of nucleus Seed plot of Girnar 4 (ICGV 15083) despite continuous rains.

Dr Sudini detailed the procedures followed in the screening of foliar fungal diseases and stem rot.

Photo: Ms Kiranmayee, a research scholar from Professor Jayshankar Telangana State Agricultural University working in groundnut breeding team explains her work in stem rot screening to Dr Kumar.

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