From Abstracts to Zoom - part two
Let's begin the second part of this update with a word about where I find a lot of the information I share with you. Much of it comes from those I follow as @OatNewsletter on Twitter. I have not noticed much of a change in the type of content I see there since Elon Musk took over the platform; however, I am seeing large gaps in my timeline, which should be chronological. If any of you would like to make sure that I see what you tweet, then please tag me. It would be even better, though, if people could send me information directly via email. You know the address! email@example.com
So - where were we? There has been a change in date for Jason Fiedler’s webinar about the new SNP chip. It will now be on January 26th, and registration is still open.
More events have also been added to the calendar, including Monogram 2023 in April, and the 7th Genomic Selection course in May. Don't forget to sign up for the next "Speaking of Oats..." webinar on January 17th, featuring Sarah Clarke of ADAS and her work on oat physiology and nutrition!
Thinking of past conferences, you can access the oat-related abstracts from the 2022 ASA-CSSA-SSSA conference here. The Canadian Celiac Association's recent AGM also featured a session on oats for people with celiac disease. A poster was also presented.
Here are a few recent articles concerning "gluten-free" oats:
- Grain by grain: Belgrade company fine-tuning oat products.
- Oats produced under a gluten-free purity protocol: Listing of suppliers and manufacturers.
- Tirlán FarmLife aims to extend the acreage sown to gluten-free oat crops.
Concerning the effect of oats on the gut in general, porridge's prebiotic potential has been previewed by Nordic researchers.
There have also been a number of articles concerning oat drinks recently:
- Finns fell in love with Fazer's Pätkis and Dumle oat drinks made from domestic oats - more than a million liters of the drinks were produced this year (in Finnish).
- Which oat variety is suitable for oat milk and which for oat beer? More research is needed.
- Estonia's first oat drink factory cornerstone laid in Järva County.
- OATBOX™ to manufacture an oat milk base for eastern Canada and Amercian northeast customers.
- Oatly to cut headcount, pivot to hybrid manufacturing model: 'Strategic co-packers are easier to find now'.
Because of Oatly's demand for oats, the Berte Qvarn company is building a new oat processing plant in Sweden. In Chile, Molinera Itata is also building a new oat processing plant.
In the UK, PepsiCo is opening its first UK oat testing lab at NIAB Cambridge. Also in the UK, the latest oat and bean varieties from IBERS are doing very well.
Catherine Howarth from IBERS is one of the people involved in reviving the use of heritage oat varieties for food in Wales:
- Welsh oats: Back in black.
- 'Search for the holy grain': lost Welsh crops offer hope for future varieties.
- Food tales from Wales.
Diploid hulless oats (Avena nuda), known as "pillas" locally, were also grown in the UK many years ago. Here’s an article from Harriet Gendall on the history of these oats. Historically, oats were often grown as mixtures (called "maslins") in many places, including Ethiopia. One could say those are the first examples of intercrops.
Continuing for a moment with the everything-old-is-new-again theme, Emile A. Lods' 1925 master’s degree thesis from McGill University could be considered the first oat speed-breeding paper! If you'd like to read something about oat phenology that’s a little bit more up-to-date, take a look at this paper from Ben Trevaskis, et al..
This paper on oat chromosome and genome evolution, by Paulina Tomaszewska, et al., is also very interesting, and, while it focusses on wheat, this paper on using a virus to combat Fusarium Head Blight could be a game-changer. For mildew, Steffen Beuch discusses the resistance genes Pm7 and Pm5 and their deployment in this video.
As you know from last month’s "SOO..." webinar, Steffen is part of the CROPDIVA project, and some of the participants' other work is described in this press release. The latest CROPDIVA newsletter has also been published. Note that CROPDIVA is sponsoring a symposium in Ghent, Belgium, from December 4th-6th, 2023.
Part of the work that CROPDIVA is doing focusses on organic systems, and Jennifer Mitchell Fetch, retired Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) oat breeder, discusses her work on developing oat varieties for organic systems in this podcast.
Here are some articles discussing work on oats going on across Canada:
- Government invests $100,000 in oat research.
- Investing in oats: Support for AAFC breeding programs.
- Improving Ontario oats: Strategies for better yield and standability.
- Cropside: Managing oats - Agronomic information from Ontario's crop specialists.
- Meet a Researcher – Xiben Wang, research scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
In Australia, a new Oat Council has been established and this website has a lot of information concerning the Australian oat industry, which, of course, we got to hear about at the recent International Oat Conference. At the same conference, we also heard about this work using CT scans to study oat spikelets.
It seems that a number of interesting oat dishes were served up at the Australian meeting, but I doubt any of them included insects, unlike one of the dishes served at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championships in Scotland this year! The recipes from the competition are on the Golden Spurtle website, but here are a few more you might like to consider whipping up this holiday season:
- Oat Stuffing
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Cranberry Oatmeal Pie
- Oat Milk Eggnog
- Domestic delicacies for the Christmas feast (in Finnish)
- Reindeer Dust
Here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! See you in the New Year!