Let's begin with the sharing of resources on social media. It was through Twitter that I found out that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake had hit the region surrounding Kahramanmaraş in Turkey. I knew that Ziya Dumlupinar, whom many of you know well, was a professor at the university there, and sent him a direct message via Twitter to see what was happening. Fortunately, Ziya and his family survived.
I used OatMail to check in with other people and let those of you subscribed to that list know that Ziya was okay. The devastation and loss of life in southern Turkey and northern Syria has been extreme, so I would urge you to share whatever monetary resources you can by donating to an established humanitarian aid organization.
On a lighter note, Twitter is being used by more people in the oat community all the time, and that now includes Lucia Gutierrez's lab at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A lot of the information I share with you has been gleaned from Twitter, and I used to collect the many news items I would find in a "Web Harvest" article. Curating those lists required a lot of time, so those items will now just be listed in the "Community News" section, in the order in which they are seen. The plan is to update this “Weekly Web Harvest” every Sunday.
The "Germplasm" and "Nomenclature" sections of the newsletter have also been updated recently, and several items have been added to the calendar as well. The next event, the GRDC Grains Research Update in Perth, Australia, will take place early next week.
As you know, Perth hosted the International Oat Conference last fall. There is still no news regarding the choice of the next venue, but we hope to have a decision soon.
In the meantime, you can relive the Perth meetings by reading a series of articles recently published by Groundcover magazine:
Pamela Zwer’s many contributions to oat breeding were also highlighted.
Andrew Barr, who also bred oats in Australia, recently received the GRDC Seed of Gold award. Congratulations to Andrew!
Congratulations are also due to Jack Dawes, who was recently presented with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal. Jack has spent many years in the communications industry, and many of you will know him because of his work with the Prairie Oat Growers Association's "Oat Scoop" newsletter.
Also in western Canada, Oat Advantage, the company run by oat breeder Jim Dyck, has recently entered into a partnership with Alliance Seed.
If any of your work involves gluten-free oats, then you may be eligible for a share of the funding available from the Canadian Celiac Association.
The USDA's Cereal Disease lab recently received funding to replace their aging building. That will be of great relief to Oluseyi Fajolu. You can find her latest updates regarding "Small Grain Losses Due to Rust" in the US here. The Cereal Disease Lab is also collaborating with the University of Minnesota on a new project concerning the "Effects of Puccinia species complex on common buckthorn", led by Pablo Olivera Firpo.
In Australia, Robert Park, from the University of Sydney, is now collaborating on rust research with InterGrain and S&W Seed.
Remember that Gracia Montilla-Bascón and Julio Isidro Sánchez are inviting you to share your work on oat resistance breeding in the latest MDPI special issue of the journal "Plants". The deadline for article submission is March 10th!
In this newsletter, Steffen Beuch and Wiktoria Konieczna have shared articles that can be found in the "Research Reports" section. Wiktoria's article discusses oat metallothionein genes' involvement in the response to osmotic stress. Steffen's article relates to the release of his new variety 'Asterion'.
Steffen's varieties are grown in Europe and the UK, and he also bred the variety 'Lion'. In Ireland and Wales, the Healthy Oats project group is working to develop new oat varieties as well, using heritage varieties in their crosses. There have also been efforts to revive the use of some of these heritage varieties as they are.
Whether a variety is new or old, how it is grown and managed will greatly affect the crop. In our last "Speaking of Oats..." ("SOO...") webinar, Sarah Clarke, from ADAS in the UK, talked about "Understanding UK oats: Physiology and Nutrition". The video from Sara’s webinar can be viewed on Youtube or found here in the newsletter. A news article featuring some of Sarah’s work is here, and more about the Yield Enhancement Network in the UK can be found here. The program has also been established in Canada.
Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone lined up to speak at future "SOO..." sessions. If you would like to be a speaker, please get in touch.
In the meantime, here are the links to a number of other recent webinars and podcasts from different groups:
- Alliance Seed: Winter Webinar Series - Trial Results, Oat Agronomy & CDC Endure
- NARF: Milling Oat Fertility in Saskatchewan: Impact of phosphorus placement, nitrogen placement and rate
- ECRF/Parkland College: Are Oats Responding to Higher Levels of Macronutrients 2022.
- Seedheads podcast: Jim Ternier of Prairie Garden Seeds
- Germination Magazine: Regional Variety Trials: Determining a Path Forward
- AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds: Recommended Lists (RL)
Jason Fiedler also presented a webinar on the USDA's new multi-species SNP chip, created for genotyping oat, wheat, barley, and soybean lines.
All manner of genotyping information is shared by the GrainGenes team at the USDA, and genome browser tracks for Avena sativa ssp. nuda cv. ‘Sanfensan’, A. insularis, and A. longiglumis, from work by Yuanying Peng’s lab, have now been made available.
Members of the GrainGenes team are also involved in hosting the Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) conference in San Diego every year, and a list of oat-related abstracts from this year's meeting (PAG30) is in the "Other Meetings" section of the newsletter.
One of the presenters at the oat workshop was Martin Mascher, and his work on oat was recently shared by the German press.
If you are looking for a job in that line of work, UC Davis has a job opening for an Assistant Professor of Molecular Breeding for Small Grains Crops.
Tyr Wiesner-Hanks recently left his job at PepsiCo (USA) and is now Biometrics Coordinator at Breeding Insight, "a USDA-funded initiative to support USDA breeders with tools and analyses for breeding, genetics, and genomics". Some of Tyr's former duties at PepsiCo will now be taken over by Di Wu, Quantitative Breeder.
The last bit of information I have to share with you today concerns the retirement of Nick Tinker from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Nick was my boss for 26 years! As it happened, he chose to retire this past January, right before the PAG meetings. Wubi Bekele, Nick's former postdoc and now a Research Scientist in his own right, invited some of the PAG attendees to join us in Ottawa on their way home for a symposium to celebrate Nick's achievements. A number of them did, and you can read more about our adventures in this article in the newsletter's "Hall of Fame" section. Enjoy your retirement, Nick, and thank you for everything you've shared with the community over so many years!