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Peanuts normally contain about 50% oil with an oleic acid to linoleic acid ratio (O/L ratio) of about 1.5/1. In 1987, Al Norden at the University of Florida discovered a spontaneous mutant line F435, with an O/L ratio of over 10/1. Since then, studies have revealed high O/L ratios improve peanut shelf life up to 10 times and boost nutritional value. The first high O/L Spanish variety, OLin, and later Tamnut OL06 became contaminated and are no longer high O/L by industry standards. OLé fills a need in the industry for a high O/L Spanish peanut suitable for production in the Southwestern US.
OLé is the product of a cross made in 2000 between Tamspan 90, a Spanish variety with resistance to Sclerotinia blight and pod rot, and F435 the original donor of the high-oleic gene. 3rd generation seed was tested for O/L fatty acid content. Single plant selections were made at this stage on the basis of oil chemistry, seed size, agronomic characteristics, and disease resistance. Bulk selections were made at the 5th generation in 2007 from healthy, Sclerotinia free plants. From 2008 to 2013, seed were increased in Oklahoma and Puerto Rico and tested in performance trials in various locations in Oklahoma.
The O/L ratio of OLé is 19.5 to 1 which is slightly better than those published for Olin 18 to 1 and 18.1 for Tamnut OL06 when those varieties were first released. However, due to contamination in commercial shelling plants and foundation seed stocks, OLé is the only high O/L variety available with typical Spanish seed characteristics and flavor desired in the candy and salted nut markets.
OLé has outstanding resistance to Sclerotinia blight and pod rot, similar to that of Tamspan 90 which was widely grown for its disease resistance. Under all but the most extreme conditions, OLé will not respond to fungicide programs for Sclerotinia blight and pod rot. Therefore, reduced production costs will be realized compared to susceptible peanut varieties. OLé is susceptible to leaf spot and like all peanut varieties adapted to the southwestern US, it will require a fungicide program for leaf spot to protect yield.
OLé is a typical Spanish variety with an upright plant type and early maturity. OLé matures in about 120 days. Because of its early maturity and Spanish genetics, it requires less water that runner and Virginia types. The early maturity also offers flexibility in planting dates and is a good option for double cropping behind wheat.