Happy Crop Wild Relatives week! Every year, from September 22nd-29th, the Crop Science Society of America celebrates this occasion. On October 1st, you can join Plant Gene Resources of Canada in a celebration of their 50 years of collecting and preserving crop wild relatives. Updated information regarding registration, as well as the agenda, can be found here. PGRC was also recently featured in Germination Magazine.

More work needs to be done to keep the genebanks of the world running and to make good use of the materials they contain. DivSeek International has recently published an article discussing this issue. At SLU Alnarp in Sweden, you can take a PhD-level course in “Legal frameworks for research and innovation with plant genetic resources” this January. The class is in English, but is being held on campus. Registration is open until October 30th.

Related to all of this is how communities around the world will use and share the different types of information associated with genebank material, including Digital Sequence Information (DSI). On Oct 7th, the Leibniz Institute will host a webinar concerning “Open-Access Policy Options for Digital Sequence Information (DSI)”.

This week, September 21st-27th, is also the time to celebrate National Plant Health Week in the UK, which is part of the world-wide celebration of the International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH). An activity book for children was written especially for National Plant Health Week, and there’s a link to it in the “Pathology” section of the newsletter, under “General information”.

Also in the “Pathology” section, under “Databases and Partner Services”, you can now access the website for the University of Sydney’s Australian Cereal Rust Survey group, as well as a video narrated by Robert Park, who describes what happens once rust samples are received at PBI Cobbity. Rust research has been conducted at the University of Sydney for one hundred years now, and Robert has written about this.

All of this work with wild relatives and pathology ultimately helps breeders and everyone else in the value chain. The German organization for the support and promotion of the use of certified seed has recently released a video describing how this value chain works, from breeding (with Steffen Beuch) through milling. The video is in German, but you can still follow the story if you don’t speak the language. The German word for “oat” is “Hafer” and the word for “porridge” is, um, “Porridge”!

Speaking of porridge, it will be celebrated in all its glory at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championships on October 10th. Like just about everything else these days, the event will be held virtually, with lots of videos showcasing new and unusual ways to use oatmeal!

Here at the Oat Newsletter, we’re very happy to be able to partner with Oat Global for our own series of virtual events. The first webinar in the “Speaking of Oats…” series will be on Thursday, October 15th, at 10 am EDT (Ottawa/New York time). We’ll be hearing all about the new PanOat genome sequencing project from Nick Tinker, Martin Mascher, and Jason Fiedler. More details and registration information will be available soon, so save the date!

Finally, one of Jason’s roles as a genomicist at the USDA-ARS genotyping lab in Fargo, ND, is working with breeders like Melanie Caffe from South Dakota State University. Melanie is still advertising for a new postdoc, so, if you know someone who’s interested, the deadline for applications is September 30th.

I hope you can still find reasons to celebrate in these challenging times!