Early leaf spot (ELS) and late leaf spot (LLS) are major fungal diseases of peanut that can severely reduce yield and quality. Development of acceptable genetic resistance has been difficult due to a strong environmental component and many major and minor QTLs. Resistance genes (R-genes) are an important component of plant immune system and have been identified in peanut. Association of specific R-genes to leaf spot resistance will provide molecular targets for marker-assisted breeding strategies. In this study, advanced breeding lines from different pedigrees were evaluated for leaf spot resistance and 76 candidate R-genes expression study was applied to susceptible and resistant lines. Thirty-six R-genes were differentially expressed and significantly correlated with resistant lines, of which a majority are receptor like kinases (RLKs) and receptor like proteins (RLPs) that sense the presence of pathogen at the cell surface and initiate protection response. The largest group was receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases (RLCKs) VII that are involved in pattern-triggered kinase signaling resulting in the production reactive oxygen species (ROS). Four R-genes were homologous to TMV resistant protein N which has shown to confer resistance against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). When mapped to peanut genomes, 36 R-genes were represented in most chromosomes except for A09 and B09. Low levels of gene-expression in resistant lines suggest expression is tightly controlled to balance the cost of R-gene expression to plant productively. Identification and association of R-genes involved in leaf spot resistance will facilitate genetic selection of leaf spot resistant lines with good agronomic traits.