Instead of a “to do” list…
How about a "Ta-da!" list? Let’s start with some actual “to do” items first, though.
Our next “Speaking of Oats…” (SOO) webinar will feature Weikai Yan of Ottawa RDC, AAFC, speaking about "Mega-environment analysis and breeding for mega-environment specific oat cultivars for Canada." This webinar will be held at 11 am EDT (UDT -4) on Thursday, March 17th. You can register here, and please be careful of the time – North American clocks go forward the weekend before the seminar!
The video of Allan Rattey’s SOO talk concerning oat breeding in Australia has now been posted to YouTube. Thank you so much for a very interesting talk, Allan!
You can find all of the talks on the Stakman-Borlaug Center YouTube page. They are also listed on the "Speaking of Oats…" page in the newsletter, and in the "Research Reports" sections for each year, starting with 2020.
The "Research Reports" page for volume 59 (2022) of the newsletter has just been added. You can send any sort of science-based report for inclusion there, including plain-language summaries of peer-reviewed articles. All submissions are vetted by two people before being posted.
This year, I expect that many people will be summarizing their work for presentation at the 11th International Oat Conference in Australia. Please remember that abstracts are due March 31st – that’s the end of this month! To keep abreast of what’s going on with the conference, you can sign up to receive conference updates.
For those of you with work ready to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, be aware that there are three new MDPI special issues that are now accepting submissions:
- "Application of Molecular Marker Technology in Crop Breeding" (deadline: 30 April 2022)
- "Contribution of Minor Cereals to Sustainable Diets and Agro-Food Biodiversity" (deadline: 31 July 2022)
- "Germplasm Resources Exploration and Genetic Breeding of Crops" (deadline: 20 October 2022)
If you'd rather just share some opinions, the "Healthy Oats" project (@OatsHealthy on Twitter), led by Fiona Doohan of UC Dublin, is conducting a consumer survey regarding oat products. You can participate by going here.
Some of you might also like to weigh in regarding this question from Georgie Troup: are there any traits specifically useful for the production of oat milk? You can contact her directly or via the newsletter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let’s move on to our "Ta-da!" list of news articles now:
- In partnership with GrainGenes, PepsiCo and La Trobe University released an annotated gene set and associated files for the OT3098 v2 genome.
- Lidija Bitz, from Luke Finland, was interviewed concerning the sequencing of the Finnish oat cultivar 'Aslak', which took place as part of the PanOat project. (The two articles below are in Finnish. If you're using Chrome as your browser, hit “English” when the prompt comes up in the top right corner; if not, copy/paste the text into Google Translate.)
- You can sign up to learn more about Luke Finland's research here.
- Congratulations are due to Chengdao Li, from Murdoch U., who was named a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering! Chengdao was also named the inaugural winner of the Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research by the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards.
- Brandon Olson, from Senay Simsek's lab at NDSU, successfully defended his cereal science M.S. thesis on November 5, 2021. The title was "Evaluation of Extraction Methods and Groat Type with Effects on Quality Analysis of Oat Beverage." Congratulations Brandon!
- Congratulations also to Matthew Czerwinski, Research Lead at Grain Farmers of Ontario, who was re-elected as Chair of the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee (OCCC) for a two-year term. The OCCC coordinates the cereal variety registration process in Ontario, Canada. Two new oat varieties received support for registration this year. Data from the Ontario Spring Cereal Performance Trials (2021) can be found here.
- Aaron Beattie, from U. Saskatchewan, was featured in an article concerning "Resilient Crops Developed through Research and Breeding".
- For resilience, you need disease resistance, and the USDA's Cereal Disease Lab report regarding "Estimated Small Grain Losses Due to Rust in 2021" is posted on their website.
- At UCD Rosemount, they're screening 190 Irish heritage oats against the fungus Fusarium langsethiae for mycotoxins.
- Many groups are now turning to Genomic Selection to aid their breeding efforts, and you can learn more about that by watching this series of videos.
- At the USDA/Cornell U., oat is now one of the crops being supported by the "Breeding Insight" project.
- A lot of work has gone into developing the Practical Farmers of Iowa's "Oat Selector Tool". Results from the 2021 trials using the tool have now been published.
- Farmers are also being asked to use different production methods. In a recent survey, it was found that "Cover crop adoption tends to stick".
- In Australia, Caroline Peek's group has harvested climate resilient farming system trials and is analysing the results.
- Kevin Elmy is the founder of Cover Crops Canada, and discusses intercropping and relay cover cropping here.
- A new H2020 initiative in Europe called "CROPDIVA" (Climate Resilient Orphan Crops for Increased Diversity in Agriculture) is now underway, and is also looking at intercropping, among other things.
- Some projects seem near-impossible, but a new method of grafting monocots (inclduing oats) has now been elucidated.
- In Ireland, the "U-Protein" (Unlocking Protein Resource Opportunities to Evolve Ireland's Nutrition) project seems "Not (im)possible" either.
- At UFRGS in Brazil, they have been looking at "Balancing oat kernel size and fiber content".
- Eventually, all of these oats need to end up at a mill, and this article describes how Finland's largest mill needs grain for different needs (in Finnish).
- Not everyone wants or needs large-scale milling equipment, however, and plans for a "Tiny Oat Collider" are now available!
- One of the people studying how oats were used long ago is PhD student Harriet Gendall, and she was featured in a series of tweets by Kew Gardens for this year's "International Day of Women and Girls in Science".
- Anne Osbourn's work in science and the arts has also been featured recently.
- The voices of women and other disadvantaged groups still need to be amplified, and an article called "Towards Equitable Public Sector Plant Breeding In The US" is now available as a pre-print.
- Finally, enjoy this child's painting of "My pet sheep Oats".
Phew. That's a long list! Many of the above items would have been included in a "Web Harvest" article, but I simply don’t have the time to put those together anymore. (If you'd like to help, just let me know!) Most of you, though, can access the same information and more by going to the @OatNewsletter page on Twitter or checking the linked Twitter feed at the bottom of the newsletter home page. Don’t forget that the calendar can be accessed there, too! New events are being added all the time.
I hope you're having your share of "Ta-da!" moments today!