“Nothing is so strong as gentleness”

…and “nothing so gentle as real strength”. Those words, from St. Francis de Sales, could certainly be used to describe Howard Rines, who passed away after a long illness on May 23rd. Howard is another of those people I met through being a part of the Quaker Oats Consortium in the 1990’s. He was a lovely man, and an excellent scientist. He will be sorely missed by many. More about Howard’s contributions to the oat community can be found by scrolling down in the “Hall of Fame” section of the newsletter, or going directly here. More about his life in general and details of his funeral can be found here.

Howard was best known to this community for his passion for cytogenetics and his work on the genetics of rust resistance. He was a part of the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory (CDL) group at the University of Minnesota, as well as being a professor at the university. The photo below was taken in the CDL greenhouses at the 2008 International Oat Conference, which Howard helped host.

Howard Rines showing off his oat lines at the 2008 IOC meeting in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Part of the CDL’s mandate, of course, is to provide updates on the occurrence of rust in the USA, and Oluseyi Fajolu has now posted the second Cereal Rust Bulletin for 2024.

Our first “Speaking of Oats…” ("SOO...") webinar for a long time was held on May 15th and the topic there was also rust resistance. Many thanks to Duong Nguyen for his presentation and to Melania Figueroa for adding so much to the conversation! The recording of the video can be found on YouTube, and also on the newsletter site (both links are listed on the "SOO..." page and in the latest volume of research reports).

The newsletter does have a page dedicated to pathology. It has recently been updated with a link to a South African database containing plant rust images. The “Pathology” page does need a lot of work, however, should anyone wish to help develop it!

More work on rust resistance will be presented at the American Oat Workers’ Conference in Saskatoon, Canada, this July. The conference website has just been updated with a list of confirmed oral presentations. Please remember that the deadline for abstracts is Friday, June 7th! The deadline for registration is now June 28th.

Everyone from everywhere is welcome to attend the conference, and many past AOWC attendees have come from countries outside the Americas. There is strength in gentleness, and also in community. Howard Rines, for one, knew that very well.