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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Analysis of Kernel Size Uniformity in Oats

item Doehlert, Douglas
item Mcmullen, Michael - PLNT SCI, NDSU, FARGO, ND

Submitted to: Oat International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 9, 2000
Publication Date: November 13, 2000
Citation: Doehlert, D.C., McMullen, M.S. 2000. Analysis of kernel size uniformity in oats. In: 6th International Oat Conference Proceedings. November 13-16, 2000. Lincoln, New Zealand. p. 207.

Interpretive Summary: The size of oat kernels harvested from a single plant can be somewhat variable because of the architecture of the oat panicle. Each spikelet may contain primary, secondary and tertiary flowers and each flower can produce a single seed. The primary flower nearly always produces larger seeds than secondary or tertiary flowers. Therefore, a considerable range of kernel sizes can result. Oat millers need a uniformly sized oat sample for efficient dehulling and will routinely separate oats according to size before milling. Oats that divide into uniformly proportioned size fractions are more desirable for milling. In our studies on oat kernel size uniformity, we have found that size uniformity as evaluated by length is quite different than that determined by width. Kernels width appears to be a better evaluator for kernel mass, because many long kernels are lighter than shorter, plumper kernels.

Technical Abstract: Oats are routinely separated by size prior to milling because dehulling occurs most efficiently with uniformly sized kernels. Oats that divide into uniformly proportioned size fractions are more desirable for milling. Here, we report our investigations into approaches to the analysis of uniformity. We compared kernel length analysis by digital image analysis with physical separation of kernels by width. Separation by width appeared to give a better fractionation by kernel mass because kernel length among genotypes had poor correlation with kernel mass. Uniformity products are introduced to quantify uniformity of distributions among three size fractions.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014