Economic and Academic Importance of Peanut

  • Murali T. Variath
  • P. JanilaEmail author
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Peanut is an important oil, food and feed crop of the world. The kernels are rich in fats and protein, and 100 g of kernels provide 567 kcal of energy and 8.5 g of dietary fiber. Peanuts are source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and health improving bioactive compounds such as resveratrol, tocopherol, arginine etc. and hence are touted as functional food. Consumption of peanuts can reduce risk of inflammation, diabetes, cancer, alzheimer’s and gallstone disease. Peanut is cultivated in over 100 countries, with over 95% of cultivated area in Asia and Africa. Aflatoxin and allergens are major health deterrents in peanut and more research efforts are needed to develop aflatoxin and allergen free peanuts. There is a great demand for peanut and peanut-based products in the international market, especially for confectionary types. Breeding new cultivars that meet the needs of the producers, consumers and industry is an important research area with implications along the value chain. Conventional breeding approaches and phenotyping tools were widely used to breed several varieties and in the last decade, genomic tools are integrated for making selections. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tools and the availability of the draft genome sequence of the diploid progenitors of peanut A. duranensis and A. ipaensis is expected to play a key role in sequencing the genome of cultivated peanut. Transgenic peanuts with resistance to herbicide, fungus, virus, and insects; tolerance to drought and salinity and improved grain quality are under testing at different containment levels. The availability of sophisticated tools for both genotyping and phenotyping will lead to an increase in our understanding of key genes involved and their metabolic regulatory pathways.


Peanut Consumer Genetics Molecular markers Linkage maps Aflatoxin contamination Allergens 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia

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