As the nation’s peanut capital, it is no surprise Georgia is a leader in peanut research and innovation. The University of Georgia is ranked as the most efficient in the nation at capitalizing on faculty research, which has had leaps and bounds in success with studying and breeding plant cultivars – namely, peanuts.
Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins heads the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, where research is underway for the UGA Peanut Breeding Program. So far, the university has bred and developed 19 peanut plant varieties that resist disease, tolerate drought and produce more nutritious nuts.
“It’s important to develop and breed improved cultivars that improve yields,” Ozias-Akins says.
The university has invented 19 peanut plant varieties that have made their way into the marketplace. The program’s goal is to improve cultivars with desirable traits including yield, commercial grade, disease and insect resistance, virus resistance, aflatoxin resistance, drought tolerance, better shelling characteristics, longer shelf-life, and enhanced flavor and nutritional qualities.
UGA peanut varieties make up over 90 percent of the southeast U.S. market share.
“Peanuts are a very important crop to the state, and we play a big role in the production of U.S. peanuts,” Ozias-Akins says.
Learn more about UGA peanut research at research.uga.edu.