Moving in, moving up, and moving on
Life is motion, and we always hope for better things to come. It is with sadness, however, that I tell you of the passing of Herb Ohm. Herb was a plant breeder and geneticist at Purdue University in Indiana, USA, for 41 years! More information concerning his life and work can be found in his obituary in the "Hall of Fame" section.
Three other articles have also been added to the "Hall of Fame". These announce the retirements of Christian Azar, George Fedak, and Pamela Zwer. Åsmund Bjørnstad and Trond Buraas have also retired recently.
For those looking to moving up in the oat community, if you can or are willing to learn to speak Norwegian, you might consider applying for a Postdoctoral Tenure Track position in Functional Genetics at NMBU. The deadline to apply is June 20th.
Craig Carlson will be the new USDA-ARS oat breeder in Fargo, ND, starting this month. Welcome, Craig! Also in Fargo, Naa Korkoi Ardayfio has returned to NDSU in a new postdoc position, after having worked at USDA-ARS.
It was mentioned in the last update that Pamela’s oat breeding program at SARDI is now part of InterGrain. There is an article concerning the SARDI team in the "Community News" section. Allan Rattey, the new oat breeder at InterGrain, is excited to be taking the reins of the National Oat Breeding program this year!
Also in the "Community News" section is some information about Ali Babar and his program. Ali was the University of Florida’s “Plant Breeder of the Month” for May. Congratulations, Ali!
Anne Osbourn, who was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2019, has a new Wikipedia page. She was also in the news recently for her work on elucidating the last steps of the pathway that gives oats resistance to take-all disease.
Looking at other disease research, the first two Cereal Rust Bulletins from the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab are now available. Don’t forget to send Oluseyi Fajolu your rust samples this summer if you are in the USA!
In Australia, rust research has been going on at the University of Sydney for 100 years now, as described in a new video.
Rust resistance is especially important in places such as Louisiana, USA, and videos from Steve Harrison’s oat field day have now been posted.
Oat research is also being done in Taiwan, and we have a video of Yung-Fen Huang with her students on a forage crop tour, courtesy of one of those students, Lin Jun (N.B.: there's no sound at the beginning).
Yung-Fen is also a member of the newly-revamped Nomenclature Committee (as am I). This committee, now chaired by Rick Jellen, was a part of the American Oat Workers group and is now a part of the International Oat Conference group. A page has been set up on GrainGenes to host official communications.
As mentioned last time, GrainGenes also hosts v.2 of the new OT3098 hexaploid oat genome sequence. Corteva Agriscience recently made an ad which discusses this new resource. It has appeared on such programs as "Follow the Food, episode 2: Seeds of Life" on the BBC.
If you want to know more about combining classical plant breeding with the use of molecular markers, the Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary has a series of slides called "Molecular Breeding: the use of molecular markers for efficient crop improvement".
Juan Arbelaez has settled in well to being the oat breeder at U. Illinois, and is using an interesting method for transplanting single plants of oat (and rice) to the field.
Intercropping, as the name suggests, involves planting two or more crop species together. Luke Struckman, working with SERF in Saskatchewan, Canada, and General Mills, has written a report concerning "Oat-Pea Mixed Grain Intercropping on the Canadian Prairies and U.S. Northern Plains". It can be found in volume 58 of the "Research Reports" section.
We all know about the health benefits of oats, and there can be side-effects of giving them up! There is a new “Healthy Oats” project led by researchers at UC Dublin in Ireland and Fiona Doonan, professor at UC Dublin, talks about "The Story of Oats" in a new podcast (requires access to Spotify).
Children need good nutrition to grow up big and strong, and so do cows. In the section "For Kids", you can find another children’s story from Janet Hainstock. This one is about a cow named "Canadian".
Georgie Troup may want to read that story to her new little oat researcher, expected to arrive in July. Congratulations, Georgie! We were also expecting that Georgie would be the presenter for June’s "Speaking of Oats…" (SOO) webinar, but that will have to be postponed. The SOO series will start again in September. Thank you to Walid Sadok and Kevin Smith for the last webinar – we had a wonderful discussion! The video will be posted soon. A list of all the videos made so far can be found via the Oat Global website or in the "Research Reports" section here.
Don’t forget to check the calendar for other events, such as the 1st Food Oats Conference being held by the Finnish Oat Association from June 8-9 and the Saaten Union & AHDB Varieties Open Day in Newmarket, UK, on June 29th.
June is also Pride month, and Jim Bradeen will be presenting a seminar titled "A queer scientist's perspective on pride, STEM, and plant pathology" hosted by the University of Tennessee on June 4th at 11:30 AM Eastern time (Zoom link in the image). Happy Pride month to everyone celebrating!
I’ve heard it said that "life is a series of movements from one chair to another". Let’s all keep moving!