1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Conduct a two year multi-location association mapping study to develop marker-trait associations to facilitate the development of new oat varieties with superior agronomics and milling quality.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Single row plots for all 685 association lines will be grown in an augmented design. Agronomic traits evaluated prior to harvest will include; 1) heading date, 2) plant height, 3) lodging, and 4) maturity. Four hundred grams of seed will be harvested and sent to Aberdeen, ID for quality analysis including: 1) groat percentage, 2) percentage plump kernels, 3) 1000 kernel weight, 4) groat plumpness, 5) groat color, and 6) percentage broken groats using standardized methods. All data will be collected and analyzed for marker trait associations. Seed will also be tested for tocopherol, total dietary fiber, beta glucan, and avenanthramides.
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 United States, three Canadian, two Scandinavian, one United Kingdom, and one South American location(s) 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 1 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 this project is accomplished via site visits, phone conversations, e-mail, and written reports.