PepsiCo OT3098 Hexaploid Oat Genome Assembly and Annotation Release in collaboration with GrainGenes

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Revised Important Announcement [Updated on April 1, 2021 based on ongoing discussions about chromosome naming]: Version 2 of the oat OT3098 reference assembly is currently underway. This new version will include gap filling as well as reorientation/flipping of some chromosomes. A revised phylogeny-based nomenclature and orientation scheme was agreed upon by the oat community after v1 of OT3098 was made available. The finalized revision of chromosome orientation and numbering is awaiting final approval by a nomenclature committee.

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Important Announcement [July 7, 2020]: Version 2 of the oat OT3098 reference assembly is currently underway. This new version will include gap filling as well as reorientation/flipping of some chromosomes. A novel orientation scheme was agreed upon by the oat community after v1 of OT3098 was made available. The chromosome names and structure are correct, but the positions will change for a subset of the chromosomes because the entire chromosome will be inverted/flipped. Following this chromosome orientation will allow current and future A. sativa assemblies to have consistent nomenclature.

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Pepsico Press Release: Today [6/23/2020], PepsiCo and Corteva Agriscience are announcing the first-ever sequencing of the full oat genome for use in open-source applications. This work was completed in just four months thanks to a collaborative effort between academia, government and the private sector, and will advance the resiliency of at-risk food systems while leading to heartier oat varieties with improved sustainability, taste and nutrition. It’s part of PepsiCo’s broader effort to use our scale and reach to help build a more sustainable food system – one that can provide nutrition and enjoyment, and drive economic growth and social development, while protecting and restoring the planet. You can read more about that work in our recently released 2019 Sustainability Report.

PepsiCo and Corteva are publicly releasing the genome to continue to advance oat research. In addition, the release of the oat genome is aimed at spurring agronomic innovations globally that can improve the resiliency of the food system in the following ways:

  • Sustainability – Breeding for better yield could produce more resilient varieties with improved disease resistance and guard against loss in the field; create longer root systems and healthier soils that sequester carbon and reduce water run-off; and reduce the amount of land and other resources needed to grow oats.
  • Nutrition – Oat grains are already rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Understanding a full oat genome improves the ability to target these qualities, ultimately benefiting consumers looking for elevated nutrition profiles from their oats.
  • Taste – The nutritional value of oats is well-documented and encouraging its consumption by potentially creating more flavorful varieties helps expand its appeal.

Primary project contributors include Corteva, applying its advanced sequencing technology and analytic capabilities; the University of North Carolina Charlotte, providing crucial sequence data and learnings; and the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, providing the oat variety. The data is being hosted on the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s GrainGenes website at https://wheat.pw.usda.gov/jb/?data=/ggds/oat-ot3098-pepsico.

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The datasets can be downloaded at https://wheat.pw.usda.gov/GG3/graingenes_downloads/oat-ot3098-pepsico.