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Bertiolis honored by peanut research colleages

David Bertioli

David and Soraya Bertioli, who are leading Peanut Innovation Lab projects that build on their groundbreaking work to map the peanut genome, were honored Thursday night at the closing of the 51st Annual American Peanut Research and Education Society conference.

The two scientists took home the

Soraya Bertioli

American Peanut Council Research Award, while David Bertioli also won the Corteva Agriscience Award for Research and Education.

Soraya Bertioli heads project, Use of novel genetic diversity for peanut varietal development in East Africa, work that involves tapping into wild relatives of peanut to provide new alleles to improve cultivated species to have resistance to groundnut rosette disease (GRD).

David Bertioli leads Incorporating new wild alleles to improve elite West African peanut cultivars, work focused in West Africa where the process has resulted in six new Senegalese varieties with improved yield stability, haulm mass, higher yield and larger seeds.

Peanuts in the spotlight this month

March is National Peanut Month, a time to celebrate the nutritious and delicious peanut.

Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris speaks at the PB&J event in 2017.

The Georgia peanut industry gathered together on March 4 to celebrate one of the most popular nuts in the world for the 2019 Georgia PB&J Day at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Elected officials were involved in the celebration, including Governor Brian Kemp. The governor presented a proclamation recognizing March as National Peanut Month.

Peanuts and products made from peanuts are foods that can be celebrated not only for their taste, but also their nutritional value. Through one serving of peanuts, a person consumes a significant amount of protein, Vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus and magnesium.

Visit here for more information about peanuts and the 2019 Georgia PB&J Day.

New weed control book addresses peanut production systems

 Experts who worked together in the Peanut Innovation Lab precursor, the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, recently co-authored a book chapter on weed control in peanut.

Weed control book

“Weed Control Sustainability: Hazards and Risks in Cropping Systems Worldwide” contains a chapter on peanuts.

Weed scientists at North Carolina State University, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Crops Research Institute and the University of Development Studies in Ghana wrote “Sustainable Weed Management in Peanut,” a chapter in CRC Press’ book “Weed Control Sustainability: Hazards and Risks in Cropping Systems Worldwide.”

The chapter discusses the impact weeds have on peanut production and how producers work to minimize the negative effect on yield, using examples from several countries including the Feed the Future target country Ghana.

Drs. Grace Bolfrey-Arku, Israel Dzomeku and David Jordan were actively involved in the work of the Innovation Lab and, along with lead author Dr. Ramon Leon, have created an important resource for scientists and producers who are interested in managing weeds in peanut. (more…)

New drug could ease peanut allergy in kids

A year-long trial involving methodical exposure to small amounts of peanut protein shows promise in  alleviating the most serious peanut allergies.

The results, announced Sunday at a conference of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Seattle, may lead to the first oral medication that could eliminate severe peanut allergies in children.

After six months of treatment followed by six months of maintenance therapy, two-thirds of the 372 children who received the treatment were able to ingest 600 milligrams or more of peanut protein — the equivalent of two peanuts — without developing allergic symptoms.

Check out this article in the New York Times.





Peanut Vision talks up peanut benefits – including global food security

The National Peanut Board recently launched The Peanut Vision site to highlight all the ways peanuts benefit people and agriculture.

The National Peanut Board has launched an engaging, informative new website that tout all the ways peanuts are valuable to our environment, health and communities.

The Peanut Vision: Sustainable, Nutritious, Global Food Source  sums up the power of peanuts in one statement: “Peanuts are positioned to meet the challenges of a growing world.”

While 85% of the world’s water supply goes to agriculture, the peanut plant produces food with a fraction of the water that tree nuts require, the site points out. (An ounce of peanuts requires 4.7 gallons of water, while almonds and walnuts need more than 70 gallons).

Consuming peanuts can help to maintain a healthy weight and decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to multiple studies. (Frequent peanut consumption could reduce the right of death from heart disease by 29%.) (more…)

USAID launches new peanut innovation lab at UGA

The University of Georgia has received a $14 million grant from the U.S. Agency of International Development to manage the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut Research, known as the “Peanut Lab,” a global peanut research program that works to alleviate hunger by helping farmers in developing countries grow healthy crops. The agreement builds on UGA and USAID’s long-standing partnership on global peanut research, which dates back to the 1980s.

Check out the full announcement from the University of Georgia.


UGA prof and PMIL researcher, Wang, honored for toxicology work

Jia-Sheng Wang, the lead scientist on a PMIL project to validate a system to detect aflatoxin in dried blood, has been awarded the 2018 Translational Impact Award from the Society of Toxicology.

JS Wang

Wang serves as head of the Department of Environmental Health Science at the University of Georgia College of Public Health and has 35 years of research and teaching experience in toxicology, chemical carcinogenesis, molecular epidemiology and cancer chemoprevention.

His work with to identify biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure has advanced not only his own research to mitigate exposure to aflatoxin (which is carcinogenic), but also is helping other researchers around the world.

He is also a leader in exploring the role that natural products and dietary supplements may play in preventing cancer.

Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology is the preeminent professional organization for scientists who practice toxicology around the globe. The organization seeks to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the study and prevention of chemical, physical or biological agents that can harm people or the environment.

The Translational Impact Award is “presented to a scientist whose recent outstanding clinical, environmental health, or translational research has improved human and/or public health in an area of toxicological concern.”

Read more here. Congratulations, Dr. Wang.