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Alabama researchers focus on peanut genome to improve harvests

Peanuts are an important part of rural Alabama’s economy, and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is doing innovative research aimed at producing healthier harvests.

Scientists at the Huntsville facility have partnered with the state’s farmers and agricultural industry leaders on genomic projects involving peanuts.

The work involves an integrated approach, with researchers using input from growers to help chart their path. Peanut genomes determine characteristics such as how well they roast, fill their shells and resist drought and disease.

Among the most impactful results of the researchers’ work so far is the creation of a set of genetic markers that are used by breeders of peanut plants to develop crop varieties with desirable traits, said Dr. Josh Clevenger, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator.

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