Strategies to Enhance Drought Tolerance in Peanut and Molecular Markers for Crop Improvement

  • M. Jyostna Devi
  • Thomas R. Sinclair
  • Vincent Vadez
  • Avat Shekoofa
  • Naveen PuppalaEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 21)


The production of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in warm environments and on sandy soils makes the crop vulnerable to soil drying in nearly every cropping season. Several traits are being explored to overcome yield decreases resulting from the inevitable water deficits that develop in the soil. In this review, two traits: (1) an early limitation on transpiration rate (TR) as the soil dries, and (2) limitation on maximum TR (TRlim) under high vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in peanut will be discussed. Both of these traits result in water conservation by limiting plant transpiration rates and are potential reasons for genetic variation in Transpiration Efficiency (TE). The basis for transpiration response to soil water deficits and high VPD at the tissue and whole plant levels appears to be leaf and root hydraulic properties. A contributing factor in determining hydraulic limitations is water transport through membranes via aquaporins (AQP). Overall, both of the two traits result in phenotypes with an ability to conserve water especially under late-season drought events. While large genetic variability in these traits has been observed in peanut, breeding efforts are still required to exploit these promising traits in commercial cultivars. This review focuses on the traits in peanut that allow identification of tolerant genotypes with potential yield increase in water-limited environments. A recent progress in molecular marker technology has made it possible to measure polymorphism in peanut and to identify molecular markers or quantitative trait loci (QTL) linked to TE and its surrogate traits despite its low levels of molecular polymorphism and complex polyploid genome. We also reviewed some of these QTLs and their potential application for molecular breeding in peanut under water-limited environments.


Aquaporins Molecular markers Peanut VPD Transpiration efficiency QTL 


  1. Bhatnagar-Mathur P, Devi MJ, Reddy SD et al (2007) Stress-inducible expression of At DREB1A in transgenic peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) increases transpiration efficiency under water-limiting conditions. Plant Cell Rep 26:2071–2082PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhatnagar-Mathur P, Vadez V, Devi MJ et al (2009) Genetic engineering of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) with the P5CSF129A gene for osmoregulation with implications on drought tolerance. Mol Breed 23(4):591–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bierhuizen JF, Slatyer RO (1965) Effect of atmospheric concentration of water vapor and CO2 in determining transpiration-photosynthesis relationships of cotton leaves. Agric Meteor 2:259–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Branch WD, Kvien CK (1992) Peanut breeding for drought resistance. Peanut Sci 19(1):44–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clifford SC, Stronach IM, Black CR et al (2000) Effect of elevated CO2, drought and temperature on the water relations and gas exchange of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) stands grown in controlled environment glasshouses. Physiol Plant 110:78–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cuc LM, Mace ES, Crouch JH et al (2008) Isolation and characterization of novel microsatellite markers and their application for diversity assessment in cultivated groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). BMC Plant Biol 8(1):1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR (2011) Diversity in drought traits among commercial southeastern US peanut cultivars. Int J Agron. Scholar
  8. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR, Vadez V et al (2009) Peanut genotypic variation in transpiration efficiency and decreased transpiration during progressive soil drying. Field Crop Res 114(2):280–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR, Vadez V (2010) Genotypic variation in peanut for transpiration response to vapor pressure deficit. Crop Sci 50(1):191–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devi MJ, Sadok W, Sinclair TR (2012) Transpiration response of de-rooted peanut plants to aquaporin inhibitors. Environ Exp Bot 78:167–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR, Beebe SE et al (2013) Comparison of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) genotypes for nitrogen fixation tolerance to soil drying. Plant Soil 364(1–2):29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR, Chen P et al (2014) Evaluation of elite southern maturity soybean breeding lines for drought-tolerant traits. Agron J 106(6):1947–1954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Devi MJ, Sinclair TR, Jain M et al (2016) Leaf aquaporin transcript abundance in peanut genotypes diverging in expression of the limited-transpiration trait when subjected to differing vapor pressure deficits and aquaporin inhibitors. Physiol Plant 156(4):387–396PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dwivedi SL, Gurtu S, Chandra S et al (2001) Assessment of genetic diversity among selected groundnut germplasm. I: RAPD analysis. Plant Breed 120(4):345–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferguson ME, Burow MD, Schulze SR et al (2004) Microsatellite identification and characterization in peanut (A. hypogaea L.). Theor Appl Genet 108(6):1064–1070PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fletcher AL, Sinclair TR, Allen LH (2007) Transpiration responses to vapor pressure deficit in well-watered ‘slow-wilting’ and commercial soybean. Environ Exp Bot 61:145–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fonceka D, Tossim HA, Rivallan R et al (2012) Fostered and left behind alleles in peanut: interspecific QTL mapping reveals footprints of domestication and useful natural variation for breeding. BMC Plant Biol 12(1):1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gautami B, Pandey MK, Vadez V et al (2012) QTL analysis and consensus genetic map for drought tolerance traits based on three RIL populations of cultivated groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Mol Breed 32:757–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gholipoor M, Prasad PVV, Mutava RN et al (2010) Genetic variability of transpiration response to vapor pressure deficit among sorghum genotypes. Field Crop Res 119:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. He G, Prakash CS (1997) Identification of polymorphic DNA markers in cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Euphytica 97(2):143–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. He G, Meng R, Newman M, Gao G, Pittman R, Prakash CS (2003) Microsatellites as DNAmarkers in cultivated peanut (A. hypogaea L.). BMC Plant Biol 3:3PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Heinen RB, Ye Q, Chaumont F (2009) Role of aquaporins in leaf physiology. J Exp Bot 171 Scholar
  23. Hopkins MS, Casa AM, Wang T et al (1999) Discovery and characterization of polymorphic simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in peanut. Crop Sci 39(4):1243–1247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hyten DL, Song Q, Fickus EW et al (2010) High-throughput SNP discovery and assay development in common bean. BMC Genom 11(1):475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kholova J, Hash CT, Kakkera A et al (2010) Constitutive water-conserving mechanisms are correlated with the terminal drought tolerance of pearl millet Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br. J Expert Bot 61:369–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kochert G, Stalker HT, Gimenes M et al (1996) RFLP and cytogenetic evidence on the origin and evolution of allotetraploid domesticated peanut, Arachis hypogaea (Leguminosae). Am J Bot 83:1282–1291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kramer PJ (1980) Drought, stress, and the origin of adaptations. In: Turner NC, Kramer PJ (eds) Adaptation of plants to water and high temperature stress. Wiley, New York, pp 7–20Google Scholar
  28. Krishnamurthy L, Vadez V, Devi MJ et al (2007) Variation in transpiration efficiency and its related traits in a groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) mapping population. Field Crop Res 103:189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Levin M, Lemcoff JH, Cohen S et al (2007) Low air humidity increases leaf-specific hydraulic conductance of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh (Brassicaceae). J Exp Bot 58(13):3711–3718PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moretzsohn MC, Leoi L, Proite K et al (2005) A microsatellite-based, gene-rich linkage map for the AA genome of Arachis (Fabaceae). Theor Appl Genet 111(6):1060–1071PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nardini A, Salleo S (2005) Water stress-induced modifications of leaf hydraulic architecture in sunflower: co-ordination with gas exchange. J Exp Bot 56(422):3093–3101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pandey MK, Gautami B, Jayakumar T et al (2012a) Highly informative genic and genomic SSR markers to facilitate molecular breeding in cultivated groundnut (Arachis hypogaea). Plant Breed 131(1):139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pandey MK, Monyo E, Ozias-Akins P et al (2012b) Advances in Arachis genomics for peanut improvement. Biotechnol Adv 30:639–651PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pandey MK, Guo B, Holbrook CC et al (2014a) Molecular markers, genetic maps and QTLs for molecular breeding in peanut. In: Mallikarjuna N, Varshney R (eds) Genetics, genomics and breeding of peanuts. CRC Press, USA, pp 61–113Google Scholar
  35. Pandey MK, Upadhyaya HD, Rathore A et al (2014b) Genome wide association studies for 50 agronomic traits in peanut using the ‘reference set’ comprising 300 genotypes from 48 countries of the semi-arid tropics of the world. PLoS ONE 20 9(8):e105228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Passioura JB (1977) Grain yield, harvest index, and water use of wheat. J Aus Inst Agri Sci 43:117–120Google Scholar
  37. Peng Z, Gallo M, Tillman BL et al (2016) Molecular marker development from transcript sequences and germplasm evaluation for cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Mol Genet Genomics 1–19Google Scholar
  38. Rao RCN, Wright GC (1994) Stability of the relationship between specific leaf area and carbon isotope discrimination across environments in peanut. Crop Sci 34:98–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rao RCN, Williams JH, Wadia KDR et al (1993) Crop growth, water use efficiency and carbon isotope discrimination in groundnut (Arachis hypogeae L.) genotypes under end of season drought conditions. Ann Appl Biol 122:357–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ratnakumar P, Vadez V, Nigam SN et al (2009) Assessment of transpiration efficiency in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) under drought using a lysimetric system. Plant Biol 11:124–130PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ravi K, Vadez V, Isobe S et al (2011) Identification of several small main-effect QTLs and a large number of epistatic QTLs for drought tolerance related traits in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Theor Appl Genet 122(6):1119–1132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ray JD, Sinclair TR (1997) Stomatal conductance of maize hybrids in response to drying soil. Crop Sci 37:803–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ray JD, Sinclair TR (1998) The effect of pot size on growth and transpiration of maize and soybean during water deficit stress. J Expt Bot 49:1381–1386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ray JD, Gesch RW, Sinclair TR et al (2002) The effect of vapor pressure deficit on maize transpiration response to a drying soil. Plant Soil 239:113–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ritchie JT (1981) Water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Plant Soil 55:81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sadok W, Sinclair TR (2009) Genetic variability of transpiration response to vapor pressure deficit among soybean cultivars. Crop Sci 49(3):955–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sadok W, Sinclair TR (2010) Transpiration response of ‘slow-wilting’ and commercial soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) genotypes to three aquaporin inhibitors. J Exp Bot 61(3):821–829PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sadras VO, Milroy SP (1996) Soil-water thresholds for the responses of leaf expansion and gas exchange: a review. Field Crop Res 47:253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Seversike TM, Sermons SM, Sinclair TR et al (2013) Temperature interactions with transpiration response to vapor pressure deficit among cultivated and wild soybean genotypes. Physiol Plant 148(1):62–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sharma KK, Lavanya M (2002) Recent developments in transgenics for abiotic stress in legumes of the semi-arid tropics. JIRCAS Work Rep 61–73Google Scholar
  51. Shatil-Cohen A, Attia Z, Moshelion M (2011) Bundle-sheath cell regulation of xylem-mesophyll water transport via aquaporins under drought stress: a target of xylem-borne ABA? Plant J 67(1):72–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Shekoofa A, Devi JM, Sinclair TR et al (2013) Divergence in drought-resistance traits among parents of recombinant peanut inbred lines. Crop Sci 53(6):2569–2576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shekoofa A, Rosas-Anderson P, Sinclair TR et al (2015) Measurement of limited-transpiration trait under high vapor pressure deficit for peanut in chambers and in field. Agron J 107(3):1019–1024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sheshshayee MS, Bindumadhava AG, Shankar TG et al (2003) Breeding strategies to exploit water use efficiency for crop improvement. J Plant Biol 30:253–268Google Scholar
  55. Sheshshayee MS, Bindumadhava H, Rachaputi NR et al (2006) Leaf chlorophyll concentration relates to transpiration efficiency in peanut. Ann Appl Biol 148:7–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sinclair TR (2012) Is transpiration efficiency a viable plant trait in breeding for crop improvement? Funct Plant Biol 39:359–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sinclair TR, Ludlow MM (1986) Influence of soil water supply on the plant water balance of four tropical grain legumes. Aust J Plant Physiol 13:319–340Google Scholar
  58. Sinclair TR, Muchow RC (2001) System analysis of plant traits to increase grain yield on limited water supplies. Agron J 93(2):263–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sinclair TR, Tanner CB, Bennett JM (1984) Water-use efficiency in crop production. Bioscience 34:36–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sinclair TR, Hammer GL, van Oosterom EJ (2005) Potential yield and water-use efficiency benefits in sorghum from limited maximum transpiration rate. Funct Plant Biol 32:945–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sinclair TR, Zwieniecki MA, Holbrook NM (2008) Low leaf hydraulic conductance associated with drought tolerance in soybean. Physiol Plant 132:446–451PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sinclair TR, Messina CD, Beatty A et al (2010) Assessment across the United States of the benefits of altered soybean drought traits. Agron J 102(2):475–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sinclair TR, Marrou H, Soltani A et al (2014) Soybean production potential in Africa. Glob Food Sec 3(1):31–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sinclair TR, Manandhar A, Belko N et al (2015) Variation among cowpea genotypes in sensitivity of transpiration rate and symbiotic nitrogen fixation to soil drying. Crop Sci 55(5):2270–2275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Stalker HT, Mozingo LG (2001) Molecular markers of Arachis and marker-assisted selection. Peanut Sci 28(2):117–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Subramanian V, Gurtu S, Rao RN et al (2000) Identification of DNA polymorphism in cultivated groundnut using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay. Genome 43(4):656–660PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tanner CB, Sinclair TR (1983) Efficient water use in crop production: research or re-search? In: Taylor HM et al (eds) Limitations to efficient water use in crop production. ASA, CSSA and SSSA, Madison, pp 1–27Google Scholar
  68. Varshney RK, Bertioli DJ, Moretzsohn MC et al (2009) The first SSR-based genetic linkage map for cultivated groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Theor Appl Genet 118:729–739PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Varshney RK, Pandey MK, Janila P et al (2014) Marker-assisted introgression of a QTL region to improve rust resistance in three elite and popular varieties of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Theor Appl Genet 127(8):1771–1781PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Weisz R, Kaminski J, Smilowitz Z (1994) Water deficit effects on potato leaf growth and transpiration: utilizing fraction extractable soil water for comparison with other crops. Am Potato J 71:829–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wright GC, Hubick KT, Farquhar GD (1991) Physiological analysis of peanut cultivar response to timing and duration of drought stress. Aust J Agric Res 42:453–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wright GC, Rao RCN, Farquhar GD (1994) Water use efficiency and carbon isotope discrimination in peanut under water deficit conditions. Crop Sci 34:92–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wright GC, Nageswara Rao RC, Basu MS (1996) A physiological approach to the understanding of genotype by environment interactions—a case study on improvement of drought adaptation in peanut. In: Cooper M, Hammer GL (eds) Plant adaptation and crop improvement. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 365–381Google Scholar
  74. Zaman-Allah M, Jenkinson DM, Vadez V (2011) Chickpea genotypes contrasting for seed yield under terminal drought stress in the field differ for traits related to the control of water use. Func Plant Biol 38:270–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zhang X, Han S, Tang F et al (2013) Genetic analysis of yield in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) using mixed model of major gene plus polygene. Afr J Biotechnol 10(37):7126–7130Google Scholar
  76. Zhao Y, Prakash CS, He G (2012) Characterization and compilation of polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers of peanut from public database. BMC Res Notes 5(1):362PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jyostna Devi
    • 1
  • Thomas R. Sinclair
    • 2
  • Vincent Vadez
    • 3
  • Avat Shekoofa
    • 2
  • Naveen Puppala
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Agricultural Science Center at ClovisNew Mexico State UniversityClovisUSA
  2. 2.North Carolina State University, Crop and Soil SciencesRaleighUSA
  3. 3.International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia

Personalised recommendations