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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: The North American Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1) To identify marker trait association between elite North American oat varieties and key traits including total dietary fiber, beta glucan, vitamin E, crown and stem rust resistance, barley yellow dwarf resistance, height, lodging, plumps, test weight. 2) Develop and use the marker-trait association for predictive assays through the USDA, ARS Genotyping centers by specifically placing the equipment needed to perform the assays.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Six-hundred and twelve oat lines representing the diversity important to North American Oat breeding programs and elite lines from each breeding program will be grown in ID, NY, IL, IN, WI, MN, ND, TX, LA, NC, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and the UK. Agronomic traits will be collected by the breeder in at least ID, NY, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. Seed harvested from these locations will be test for milling quality for avenanthramide, a-tocotrienol, a-tocopherol, total dietary fiber, and ß-glucan. Disease data (Crown rust, Stem rust, and BYDV) will be collected in TX, IN, IL, LA, ID, WI, Ottawa, and MN, while freeze tolerance data will be collected in NC. Genotypic and phenotypic data will be used to determine marker-trait association using JMP Genomics and TASSEL. An open array real-time TaqMan assay will develop to run predictive assay on marker-trait associations.


3.Progress Report

Over the past 48 years world-wide oat production has declined 58%, while production of crops like corn and soybean have drastically increased. Research groups in North America actively working on oat have also declined from 28 (1998) to 11 (2008). The Collaborative Oat Research Enterprise was recently established by the USDA-ARS in Aberdeen, Idaho as an international scientific collaboration to reverse these trends. The objectives of this project are to develop new “molecular” tools and evaluate 685 oat lines over two years for key characteristics improving plant production, including resistance to various diseases; milling efficiency; and health value. Over the last year (2010 – 2011), 80,000 oat genetic “mile” markers have been identified of which, 1,100 have been used to build the first complete genetic “road” map. Using a new strategy, the map was physically anchored to the appropriate genetic “state” know as a chromosome. First year field and laboratory evaluations of 685 oat lines in nine U.S., three Canadian, two Scandinavian, one United Kingdom, and one South American(s) location have yield key information on agronomic and disease characteristics enabling the development of genetic “signpost” for the traits on the map. Seed harvested from one of the Canadian (Winnipeg) and two United States (Aberdeen, Idaho and Casselton, North Dakota) field locations are currently being tested for milling quality and grain antioxidant and fiber levels. Once these experiments are complete, signpost for each of the genetic locations controlling these characteristics will be added to the map. To date, over 30 signpost have been developed and are being used by oat breeders as a genetic “GPS” to expedite the development of improved oat varieties. This work will allow target development of high beta glucan lines possible in oat. This work directly relates to objective 3 of the current ARS Aberdeen project plan (5366-21000-024-00D) “Develop improved barley and oat cultivars meeting the needs of conventional and specialty markets for both dryland and irrigated production systems.” Monitoring of the project is accomplished via site visits, phone conversations, e-mail and written reports.


Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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