Variation in branching pattern was studied in six Virginia group peanut cultivais (ssp. hypogaea var. hypogaea). Lines with genetically distinct branching patterns differing from the normal pattern were readily found in two of the cultivars. These variable lines showed no yield advantage over the normal lines. It was concluded that there is considerable genetic variation for branching pattern in Virginia peanuts. The variation could be ascribed to a range of modifier genes which can change the normal pattern of branching. There were indications of a strong environmental effect on branching pattern and of a genotype by environment interaction.

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