Genotype × Environment Studies on Resistance to Late Leaf Spot and Rust in Genomic Selection Training Population of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)
Foliar fungal diseases especially late leaf spot (LLS) and rust are the important production constraints across the peanut growing regions of the world. A set of 340 diverse peanut genotypes that includes accessions from gene bank of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), elite breeding lines from the breeding program, and popular cultivars were screened for LLS and rust resistance and yield traits across three locations in India under natural and artificial disease epiphytotic conditions. The study revealed significant variation among the genotypes for LLS and rust resistance at different environments. Combined analysis of variance revealed significant environment (E) and genotype × environment (G×E) interactions for both the diseases indicating differential response of genotypes in different environments. The present study reported 31 genotypes as resistant to LLS and 66 to rust across the locations at 90 DAS with maturity duration 103 to 128 days. Twenty-eight genotypes showed resistance to both the diseases across the locations, of which 19 derived from A. cardenasii, five from A. hypogaea, and four from A. villosa. Site regression and Genotype by Genotype x Environment (GGE) biplot analysis identified eight genotypes as stable for LLS, 24 for rust and 14 for pod yield under disease pressure across the environments. Best performing environment specific genotypes were also identified. Nine genotypes resistant to LLS and rust showed 77% to 120% increase in pod yield over control under disease pressure with acceptable pod and kernel features that can be used as potential parents in LLS and rust resistance breeding. Pod yield increase as a consequence of resistance offered to foliar fungal diseases suggests the possibility of considering ‘foliar fungal disease resistance’ as a must-have trait in all the peanut cultivars that will be released for cultivation in rain fed ecologies in Asia and Africa. The phenotypic data of the present study will be used for designing genomic selection prediction models in peanut.