Texas A&M University
Peanut is an important source of income for small farmers in Sahelian Africa. Peanut varieties with stable productivity, appealing product quality, and low aflatoxin contamination are needed for the varied ecological zones of the African Sahele and for Southwest USA. Recent advance in peanut yield-potential has been made for the short rainy season zones through the release of Fleur 11, and the development of GC-835. Fleur 11 has shown 30% yield advantage over the prevalent variety, 55-437, and GC-835 has a shortened growing season with acceptable yields. However, product quality and stability, and disease resistance have not been enhanced. Dependable yield, both forage and seed, of high quality are essential. Resistance to the frequent losses to early leaf spot, rust, and rosette virus are needed for stability of production. Successful production must be followed by product maintenance for consumer appeal and utilization. Maintenance of peanut and peanut product quality is a major concern in peanut marketing. The oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids promotes rancidity and poor flavor. That oxidative process is hastened by warm temperatures. Peanut storage in West Africa is commonly at warm, or hot, temperatures. Special storage in the USA allows better quality maintenance, but the cost is high and demanding on the industry. Genetically altered peanut chemistry to reduce the rate of fat oxidation and extend peanut and peanut product storability could have significant effect on peanut utilization and human nutrition.