This PCA breeding program has made significant advances in yield and quality improvements of our ultra-early (UE) maturity genetics, which we’ve been breeding for the past decade or so. Kernel yield improvement of  up to 50 per cent above the first UE release ‘Walter’ have been achieved, and yield potentials are now approaching that of the full season maturity varieties (up to 7t/ha pods). This is an amazing result considering the UE maturity genetics is up to 30 days earlier maturing than full season varieties.

We're unsure about the underlying physiological mechanisms leading to this yield increase. We suspect that traits such as more rapid canopy development, higher partitioning of biomass to leaf/leaf area, lower canopy extinction coefficient and higher harvest index are contributing factors, but a proper physiological study involving detailed measurements of crop growth analysis, light interception, leaf area development, and analysis and new calibration/validation of the APSIM peanut model are required. This information is important for targeting relevant traits and future breeding strategies. It would provide an ideal scientific paper on the development of the breeding program's UE genetics.

This breeding program is a collaboration between PCA, the GRDC and DAF Queensland.

Location: St Lucia and/or Gatton, and/or Kingaroy. Field experimental facilities could be provided within the breeding program at Kingaroy

Expected outcomes: understanding of genetics yield and quality improvements in peanut, field and laboratory techniques, industry collaboration

Supervisors: Professor Graeme Hammer (primary), Associate Professor Rao RachaputiAssociate Professor Bhagirath Chauhan

Before you apply: contact the primary supervisor for more details