In the past, genetic resistance to both early and late leaf spots [Cercospora arachidicola Hori and Cercosporidiumpersonatum (Berk. & Curt.) Deighton] has been found to be negatively or inversely correlated with early maturity in the cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). For example, the late leaf spot resistant cultivar Southern Runner is approximately 2 wk later in maturity than the susceptible Florunner cultivar. Recently, an advanced runner-type breeding line (GA T-2844) has been developed by the Georgia peanut breeding program which combines early maturity and leaf spot tolerance. For the past 3 yr (1991–1993), GA T-2844 has been evaluated in replicated field tests without fungicides. Results show that GA T-2844 has on the average >30% yield advantage and a 30-d earlier maturity than Southern Runner. Leaf spot ratings also showed GA T-2844 to be intermediate between Southern Runner and Florunner. Such a combination of early maturity and leaf spot tolerance could significantly enhance U.S. peanut production by providing an environmentally safer and efficient alternative to costly pesticides not previously available among runner-type cultivars.

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Author notes

1Contribution from the Univ. of Georgia, College of Agric. and Environ. Sci. This research was supported by state and hatch funds with grants from the Georgia Peanut Commission and Georgia Seed Development Commission.