Peanut rust, caused by Puccinia arachidis Speg., is a foliar disease that plagues peanut production along with early and late leaf spots, Passalora arachidicola (Hori) U. Braun and Nothopassalora personata (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) U. Braun, C. Nakash, Videira & Crous, respectively. Rust can cause up to 80% yield losses without control and is widespread in tropical countries but is also a sporadic problem in the United States. An integrative plant management strategy with rust resistant peanut cultivars is needed to decrease dependence on costly fungicides and increase yields for farmers who cannot afford or do not have access to fungicides. Only moderate levels of rust resistance have been found in cultivated peanut germplasm, but fortunately, high resistance to rust has been identified in wild Arachis species that can be introgressed into peanut cultivars. In this study, 16 diploid, wild Arachis species, five diploid, interspecific hybrids, 11 unique, allotetraploid interspecific hybrids, and two cultivated peanut controls were tested for resistance to rust. Resistance was evaluated in vitro by incubation time, susceptibility index (calculated based on the number of lesions of different diameters)/ leaf area, total number of lesions/ leaf area, and total number of sporulating lesions/ leaf area. All wild Arachis species tested were very highly resistant to rust, except for A. ipaƫnsis , the B-genome progenitor of cultivated peanut. Additionally, all interspecific hybrids and synthetic allotetraploids not produced with A. ipaƫnsis as a parent did not show symptoms for rust. Any of these nine synthetic allotetraploids, BatCor , BatDur 1, BatDur 2, BatSten 1, GregSten , MagCard , MagDio , MagDur , and ValSten 1 are recommended for progression to QTL mapping of rust resistance. These resistance QTLs can be pyramided into peanut cultivars to protect yields in the United States and to increase yields in tropical, developing countries for farmers that cannot afford, or do not have access to, costly fungicides.

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