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Title: The perennial wild species Avena macrostachya as a genetic source for improvement of winterhardiness in winter oat for cultivation in Poland

item LAPINSKI, BOGUSLAW - Plant Breeding And Acclimatization Institute (IHAR)
item MACIEJ, KALA - Plant Breeding And Acclimatization Institute (IHAR)
item NAKIELNA, ZOFIA - Plant Breeding And Acclimatization Institute (IHAR)
item JELLEN, ERIC - Brigham Young University
item Livingston, David

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2013
Publication Date: 6/6/2013
Citation: Lapinski, B., Maciej, K., Nakielna, Z., Jellen, E., Livingston, D.P. 2013. The perennial wild species Avena macrostachya as a genetic source for improvement of winterhardiness in winter oat for cultivation in Poland. In: Behl, R.K., Arseniuk, E. Biotechnology and Plant Breeding-Perspectives. Jodphur, India: Agrobios, Int'l. p. 51-62.

Interpretive Summary: Avena macrostachya is a wild perennial oat originating in the mountains of Algeria. Its ability to withstand freezing temperatures during winter is one of its outstanding characteristics. However, the inability of the plant to produce viable seed makes it difficult to use as a crop. Crossing the plant with the cultivated form of oat (Avena sativa) is difficult and requires several sophisticated techniques to produce viable seed. In this paper we characterize a series of crosses that were made with A. macrostachya and A sativa for yield, winterhardiness, disease resistance and other agronomic traits. The data suggest A. macrostachya may provide unique genes to improve existing oat germplasm.

Technical Abstract: Avena macrostachya Bal. et Durieu has been reported as a valuable source of genetic variation for oat because of its winterhardiness and resistance to various diseases and pests. Therefore a series of crosses of cultivated oat with this species was initiated in IHAR-Radzików, Poland, in 2002. Three F1 hybrids were obtained, following embryo rescue. After intense cloning, colchicine treatment and flowering at access of winter oat pollen, two of the F1-s were fertile enough to set 57 germinable seeds. They gave rise to three groups of wide hybrid material. The decaploid primary synthetics (2n=10x=70) showed some resistance to diseases and drought, but their growth was retarded and fertility was decreased. The octoploids (2n=8x=56) were also selected as stable karyotypes, containing a half-reduced dose of the macrostachya chromosomes. They grew faster and showed a remarkable level of winterhardiness. Some octoploids also had extraordinarily large seeds (TKW > 60 g). Therefore a separate crossing scheme with winter octoploids was initiated, aimed at improving yield and inducing earlier, more uniform ripening. The last karyotype group in the progeny of the sativa x macrostachya F1 hybrids were plants with chromosome numbers between 40 and 49 which gave rise to stable hexaploids (2n=6x=42). They expressed the highest yielding capacity. In Radzików, during 2009/2010 with a mild winter and some drought in spring, winter oats yielded ca. 80 dt/ha which was almost double the yield of the standard spring oat cultivar. Selected hexaploid lines were hardy enough that they survived the winter of 2010/2011 which reached a temperature of -9.5°C at ground level. However, no winter oat was hardy enough to survive the 2011/2012 winter which had a minimum temperature in Radzików of -14.3°C at ground level. A calculation of risk and profit based on the last four years of field experiments in Radzików indicated, that winter oat cultivation would be economically feasible even when total damage, like in 2012, occurs every second year. Some 6x lines combine high yields with high kernel quality, including relatively high TKW and low husk content. No stable effects of A. macrostachya on resistance to mildew and rust were noticed in our wide hybrids.