Volume 46

August 2000

Edited by James Chong, Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg.

Special thanks to Miss Joanne Schiavoni for assistance in word processing and to Dr. Victoria Carollo and Dr. Dave Matthews for assistance in posting the Oat Newsletter on the Internet via a link from GrainGenes (http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/oatnewsletter/).

Please obtain the consent of the author(s) prior to citing information in the Oat Newsletter.


  1. NOTES




Return to Table of Content


Oat Newsletter Announcement

The Oat Newsletter is intended for informal communication among oat workers. Persons involved in any aspect of the oat industry and research, including production and breeding, pathology, biotechnology, and milling and processing, are invited to submit information about their programs in the Oat Newsletter.

All issues of the Oat Newsletter from Volume 44 onward will be published electronically in the Internet via a link from GrainGenes to the Oat Newsletter homepage at http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/oatnewsletter/. Printed paper versions will no longer be available. However, limited printed copies of the Oat Newsletter will be provided to those that do not have access to the Internet, on a cost-recovery basis. Requests should be sent to:

Dr. James Chong
Editor, Oat Newsletter
Cereal Research Center, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
195 Dafoe Road, Winnipg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
Phone: (204) 983-0932 / Fax: (204) 983-4604
e-mail: jchong@em.agr.ca

Return to Table of Content

Instructions to Contributors for Volume 47

Contributions for Volume 47 may be submitted at any time, but should be submitted no later than May 1, 2001. The editor encourages you to submit your article(s) several weeks earlier than the deadline date, if you can do so. Contributions to the Oat Newsletter must conform to the following guidelines:

a.     Prepare articles in English. Maximum length should not exceed 6 pages, single-spaced.

b.     Articles should be prepared in PC WordPerfect (preferred), PC Microsoft Word, or ASCII file format. Do not number pages. Articles should be titled as follows:

Affiliation and Full Mailing Address
E-mail Address

Please include full mailing address and/or e-mail address for each article, as the Oat Newsletter will no longer be distributed by mail, hence no need of publishing a mailing list in Volume 44 and future issues of the Newsletter.

c.     To facilitate conversion to html formas required for posting on the Internet, please use the "Create Table" feature in the word processor to make tables, as tables created by spaces and tabs do not convert properly.

d.     Photographs or images saved in .jpg or .gif format can be submitted with your articles.

e.     Manuscripts should be carefully proofed. Manuscripts considered unsuitable for inclusion will be returned to the author(s) for revision and resubmission for a future volume.

f.     An electronic version of the article should be submitted by mail or e-mail to:

Dr. James Chong
Editor, Oat Newsletter
Cereal Research Center, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
195 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
e-mail: jchong@em.agr.ca

Return to Table of Content

A Statement of Purpose of the Organization of the American Oat Workers Conference

This statement, approved by the members of the American Oat Workers Conference, Minneapolis, MN on June 22, 1994, shall serve to delineate the purpose and organizational structure of an American Oat Workers Conference. This Conference shall be made up of scientists and other workers actively engaged in the improvement, management, and utilization of oats. These requirements being met, active participation in the Conference constitutes membership, and all attending members at a particular meeting of the Conference shall have voice and vote in all matters properly brought before the Conference during a regular business meeting to be held during each meeting of the Conference. The Conference shall meet at a time, generally every four years, and at a location to be selected by vote of the attending membership at the previous meeting of the Conference. The Executive Committee, described below, shall have the authority to call emergency meetings of the Conference as necessary.

The purpose of the American Oat Workers Conference shall be to advance oat improvement and culture in North America and the world by providing a vehicle for the:
a. Dissemination of information on current research.
b. Discussion of regional and continental problems of oat improvement and integration of applicable research.
c. Encouragement of the exchange and preservation of germplasm.
d. Standardization of data recording and terminology.
e. Planning of regional and continental performance nurseries as appropriate.
f. Preliminary announcement of planned cultivar releases.
g. Action on other matters that may properly come before the Conference.


American Oat Workers Conference Committees 1998 - 2002

The American Oat Workers Conference shall be under the general leadership of an American Oat Workers Conference Committee composed of official representatives of the various regions and countries and of a general Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee shall be the Chairman, Chair-Elect, Past Chairman, Secretary of the American Oat Workers Conference, and the Editor of the Oat Newsletter, and they need not be official representatives of the American Oat Workers Conference Committee. The Executive Committee shall appoint a nominating committee for a slate of officers for the offices of Chairman and Secretary of the Conference. The Chairman-elect and Secretary shall be elected by the membership of the Conference during the regular business meeting to be held each time the Conference meets. The term of office shall be four years and the Chairman, Chairman-elect, and Secretary will assume their duties immediately after adjournment of the Conference wherein elected. The Chairman-elect will automatically become the Chairman for the ensuing four year period. These officers may serve consecutive terms if properly elected by the Conference. The Editor of the Oat Newsletter shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The Editor of the Oat Newsletter may serve consecutive terms. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to appoint an Acting Editor of the Oat Newsletter should that position be vacated between regular Conference meetings. The Past Chairman, Secretary, and Editor of the Newsletter shall be non-voting members of the American Oat Workers Conference unless they are also serving as representatives on the American Oat Workers Conference Committee. The Chairman shall be a voting member of the latter Committee and shall preside over all business meetings of the Committee and of the American Oat Workers Conference.

The American Oat Workers Conference shall be made up of official representatives from the various countries and regions as follows:

Country and number of representatives
Region or Agency USA Canada Mexico
Northeastern Region 1 1 -
North Central Region 1 - -
Western Region 1 1 -
Southern Region 1 1
Federal Dept. of Agric. Advisor 1 1 -

Where the representative cannot attend an official conference, he may designate an alternate.

In addition to the above minimum representation, three representatives shall be elected at large by the Conference during the regular meeting once every four years. Also, the elected chairman of the Conference shall be a member of the Committee. Thus, the total voting membership of the committee shall not exceed 14. Representatives from the various regions shall be selected by one of the following methods:

a. USA Regional Representatives normally shall be elected by the appropriate Regional Committee. In the event no such committee exists, the Secretary of the Conference shall contact oat workers within the region by mail once every four years and solicit nominations for a representative and subsequently conduct an election by mail ballot. The individual receiving the most votes shall serve as representative.

b. Canadian Regional Representatives shall be elected by: Western - The Barley and Oat Subcommittee of the Prairie Regional Registration Committee for Grain; and Eastern -- The Eastern Expert Committee on Cereals and Oilseeds. These groups will have the option of electing the third representative to fill the designated Federal position or of requesting Federal representation; whichever is more appropriate.

c. The representative from the US Department of Agriculture shall be the National Technical Advisor for Oat Improvement.

d. The Mexican representative shall be designated by the appropriate government official or organization.

Alternates may be elected or appointed for each representative on the American Oat Workers Conference Committee.

Standing Committees

There shall be Standing Committees of the American Oat Workers Conference as follows:

a. Committee on Nomenclature and Cataloguing of Oat Genes - This Committee shall consist of three Conference members appointed by the Chairman of the American Oat Workers Conference. It shall serve to assign symbols and catalog new genes governing characters in oats. Such genes will be listed and described in the Oat Newsletter on an annual basis. The Committee will also be responsible for considering periodical updating and revision of the original publication on the subject, which was entitled "A Standardized System of Nomenclature for Genes Governing Characters of Oats". There shall be no limit of office of committee members.

b. Nomination Committee for Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement Award - This Committee shall consist of three Conference members appointed by the Chairman of the American Oat Workers Conference and shall include at least two members who have served on the American Oat Workers Conference Committee. Their term of office shall be from date of appointment until the end of the following Conference meeting.

Oat Newsletter

The American Oat Workers Conference shall sponsor an Oat Newsletter to be published on an annual basis for the purpose of dissemination of information on current oat research and research needs. Members of the Conference are encouraged to submit information about their current research programs in response to an annual request to be made by the Editor of the Oat Newsletter. The Newsletter shall also serve as a vehicle of publication for the minutes of the business meetings of the Conference and of the American Oat Workers Conference Committee as well as for Committee Reports and other Conference notes. Abstracts of papers presented at meetings of the Conference also shall be published in the appropriate issues of the Newsletter.

Contributions from countries outside the Conference will be accepted for inclusion in the Newsletter, and should be encouraged so as to promote the dissemination of oat research information and news.

The Oat Newsletter shall be distributed to all members of the Conference and upon request, to other interested oat and cereal crops workers outside the American Oat Workers Conference. An Oat Newsletter Editorial Committee of four (three researchers and one industry representative) is to be appointed by the AOWC Chair.

Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement Award

The American Oat Workers Conference shall confer the "Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement Award" upon persons in recognition of their outstanding research contributions and/or meritorious service toward making oats a successful agricultural species. The recipient(s) of this award shall be nominated by the Committee previously described as having this charge, and they shall be elected for the award by a majority vote of the American Oat Workers Conference Committee. No restriction shall be placed upon whom may receive the award. However, as a general guide, the award should be presented to person or persons who have devoted a significant portion of their professional career and a significant number of years working with oats through research, extension, or other professional activities. The number of recipients should not be limited, but in general, not more than one to three persons would be recognized at one Conference meeting.

The Award shall be conferred at a regular meeting of the American Oat Workers Conference. Manifestation of the award shall be denoted by the presentation of a suitable plaque or certificate to the recipient. A brief (not to exceed two typewritten pages) statement about the recipient and a photograph of the recipient shall be printed in the first volume of the Oat Newsletter after the presentation.

Return to Table of Content

American Oat Workers Conference Committees 1998-2002

Executive Committee

Chair             Fred Kolb
                    Crop Sciences, University of Illinois
                    1102 South Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61821, USA
                    e-mail: F-kolb@uiuc.edu

Past Chair     Brian Rossnagel
                     Crop Development Centre, University of Saskatchewan
                     51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8
                     e-mail: Brian.rossnagel@usask.ca

Chair-elect     Paul Murphy
                      Crop Science, North Carolina State University
                       Box 7629
                       840 Method Road, Unit 3
                       Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
                       e-mail: Njpm@unity.nscu.edu

Secretary         Howard Rines
                        Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
                        University of Minnesota
                        411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Buford Circle
                        St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
                        e-mail: Rines001@maroon.tc.umn.edu

Oat Newsletter Editorial Committee (1998 - 2001)

Editor               James Chong
                        Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
                        195 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
                        e-mail: Jchong@em.agr.ca

Past Editor     Michael McMullen
                       Department of Plant Sciences
                       North Dakota State University
                       Fargo, ND 58105, USA
                       e-mail: mmcmulle@plains.nodak.edu

Editor-elect     Dave Hoffman
                        National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility
                        PO Box 307
                        Aberdeen, ID 83210-0307, USA
                        e-mail: Dhoffman@uidaho.edu

Industrial Representative

Member at Large     Trevor Pizzey
                                Portage-la-Prairie, MB, Canada

                                Dale Reeves
                                Plant Science Department
                                South Dakota State University
                                Brookings, SD, 57006, USA
                                e-mail: Dale_reeves@sdstate.edu

                                Darrell Wesenberg
                                National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility
                                USDA-ARS, PO Box 307
                                Aberdeen, ID, 83210, USA
                                e-mail: Dwesenb@uidaho.edu

Regional Representatives

    Eastern Canada - Vernon Burrows, Eastern Cereal & Oilseed Research Center, Ottawa, Canada

    Western Canada - James Chong, Cereal Research Center, Winnipeg, Canada

    AAFC - Ken Campbell, Research Coordination, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada

    Northcentral - Deon Stuthman, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

    Northeastern USA - Mark Sorrells, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

    Western USA - David Hoffman, University of Idaho, Aberdeen, USA

    USDA-ARS - Charles Murphy, USDA, Beltsville, USA

    Mexico - Jose Salmeron, APDO, Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico

Return to Table of Content

American Oat Workers Code of Ethics for Germplasm Exchange


In past decades, oat workers worldwide have generously shared their oat germplasm with colleagues to enhance oat breeding and research. However, plant variety protection and patent mechanisms focus attention on proprietary rights afforded developers/owners of germplasm materials. The purpose of this code is to encourage the continued exchange of oat germplasm by recognizing these rights and by codifying the obligations of persons receiving unreleased oat germplasm. The following code was approved by the members of the American Oat Workers Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 22, 1994.


The originating breeder, station, or company has property rights to unreleased oat germplasm such as pure lines, early generation lines or populations, bulk populations, breeding stocks, or genetic stocks. These rights are not waived with the distribution of seeds or plants of any of these unreleased materials. In this context, "released" materials include named cultivars or breeding or genetic stocks described in an official statement of release.

a. The owner/breeder, in distributing seeds or plant materials of unreleased oat germplasm, grants permission for their use:
i. in performance tests under the recipient's control, such as the USDA Uniform Early and Uniform Mid-season Oat Performance Nurseries, the Eastern or Western Canadian Cooperative Pre-registration Trials, or any national or international oat disease nurseries; and
ii. as parents for making crosses for use in basic research or for selection leading to the development of cultivars. Uses of unreleased germplasm for which written approval from the owner/breeder is required include: selecting from the stock; induction of mutations through tissue culture or other means; insertion of recombinant DNA; use in backcrosses for addition of a gene(s) controlling a specific trait; testing in outlying nurseries not coordinated by USDA or Agriculture Canada; use as parents in commercial F1 hybrids or as components in synthetic or multiline cultivars; or seed increase and release as a cultivar.

b. The recipient of unreleased seeds or plant material shall make no secondary distribution of the germplasm without the permission of the owner/breeder.

c. The recipient of unreleased materials shall take precautions to prevent unauthorized transfer or theft of seed of these materials from nurseries or seed inventories.

d. The owner/breeder of unreleased oat germplasm stocks may waive, in writing, any of the above restrictions, or may impose additional restrictions.

e. Retention and use of the germplasm accompanying this statement indicates your agreement with the policies set forth in this statement.

For further information, please contact Dr. Deon Stuthman, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 (Tel. 612-625-3709).

Return to Table of Content




Occurrence and Pathogenic Specialisation in Puccinia coronata in Australasia, 1999-2000

Robert F. Park
Senior Research Fellow
Plant Breeding Institute Cobbitty
University of Sydney, Private Mail Bag 11, Camden, NSW2570
E-mail: robertp@camden.usyd.edu.au

Leaf rust of oats was widespread on wild oats throughout most Australian cereal growing regions. Most samples were received from Victoria, NSW, and Qld (Table 1). As in previous years, samples of leaf rusted oats more often than not comprised two or more pathotypes, necessitating subculturing of single pustules for definite identifications. A total of 273 samples was received, 40 of which failed to yield viable isolates, and from the remaining 233 samples, 509 isolates comprising 23 pathotypes were identified (Table 1). The differentials used to identify pathotypes were listed in Oat Newsletter Volume 45 (Park, R.F., Occurrence and pathogenic specialisation of Puccinia coronata (oat crown rust pathogen) in Australia - 1998/99).

The most significant event in the oat leaf rust survey of 1999-2000 was the detection of virulence for Pc68 in samples of rusted Graza 68 and Moola (both possessing Pc68) collected from Toowoomba and Warwick, Qld, in May. Further isolates were identified from cultivated oats during June and September, and by October, were recovered from leaf rusted wild oats. Surveys from 1995-1998 had failed to detect virulence for this gene. The pathotype responsible, 0307-6,10, is regarded as a single-step mutational derivative of the original Cleanleaf pathotype, 0207-6,10. In addition to being isolated from the Toowoomba-Warwick district, it was also isolated from samples collected at Bogga Billa, Casino, Narrabri, and Orange, in NSW. Interestingly, a second Pc68 virulent pathotype, 0107-3,6,10, was isolated later in the season from Kingsthorpe in Qld. Although this pathotype shares some similarities with pts 0207-6,10 and 0307-6,10, it is clearly different and is of uncertain origin. Pt 0107-3,6,10 is also odd in that it possesses virulence for Pc50, a feature very rarely seen in Australian isolates of Puccinia coronata.

Pathotype diversity appeared to be higher in Qld, NSW, and Victoria, although it should be noted that these regions were the most intensively sampled. As was the case in the 1998-1999 survey, pathotypes with virulence for genes Pc38, Pc39, or PcCleanleaf (triplet codes 0003, 0007, 0207, 0307, 0607, 2207, 4003, 4473) were rare or not detected in SA and WA (Table 1). The occurrence of these pathotypes in Qld, NSW, and Victoria is no doubt related to the deployment of cultivars with these genes in these regions (e.g., Cleanleaf [Pc38, Pc39, PcCleanleaf, released Qld 1992], Riel [Pc38, Pc39, released Qld 1993], Graza 70 [Pc38, Pc39, released Qld 1994]). Virulence for Cleanleaf was also detected in Victoria and Tasmania (Table 1).

As in 1998-1999, the most common pathotypes in Region 1 were the Cleanleaf (0207-6,10), the Amby (0071-0) pathotype, and pt 0001-0, the latter being avirulent on all differential lines except Swan (Table 1). The common occurrence of the Amby pathotype is probably a consequence of the deployment of cultivars with the genes Pc58, Pc59, or Pc61 (e.g., Amby II [Pc61, released Qld 1991], Nobby [Pc58, Pc61 +?, released Qld 1992]). Virulence for Warrego, first detected in 1998, was detected again in 1999. Two new pathotypes with virulence for this cultivar (0007-6,10+Warrego and 0207-6,10+Warrego) were isolated, along with the Warrego virulent pathotype detected in 1998 (pt 0007-6,8,10+Warrego) (Table 1). Pt 4473-6,10, which shares features of the Amby and Cleanleaf pathotypes, was detected more frequently than in 1998, possibly indicating that it is increasing in frequency. Like pt 0607-6,10, this pathotype is virulent on seedlings of Culgoa, however, it is also virulent on seedlings of Riel, Amby, and Nobby.

Triplet code pathotypes 0000 and 0001 tended to be the most common isolated from SA and WA (Table 1). These pathotypes are avirulent on most of the differential lines currently in use, and it is believed that they are similar to or the same as pathotypes that occurred prior to the virulence shifts that followed the release of resistance cultivars in Region 1 during the 1990s. It was evident that some of these pathotypes, particularly 0001-0, could be further subdivided into two or three pathotypes by using several older differential genotypes (Landhafer, Santa Fe, Ukraine, Trispernia, Bondvic, Pc45, Pc48, and Ascencao).

Three samples of oat leaf rust from New Zealand yielded pt 0007-6,8,10 (Table 1). This pathotype was also detected in New Zealand in 1998, and was also commonly detected in Region 1.

The detection of virulence for cv. Warrego during 1998, and for the gene Pc68 in 1999 (Graza 68 and Moola) is yet a further example of the ability of P. coronata to rapidly overcome newly deployed resistance genes. Few of the current suites of oat cultivars possess effective seedling resistance to leaf rust. The resistance of Bettong, Barcoo, Nugene, and Gwydir continue to be effective.

Table 1. Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae isolates identified by region, 1 April 1999 - 31 March 2000

Number of Isolates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5
0000-2 - 4 1 6 - 4 10 - 25
0001-0 3 38 45 20 1 11 13 - 131
0001-1 1 2 7 - - - - - 10
0001-1,4,11,12 - 1 - 1 1 - - - 3
0001-2 1 1 1 3 1 4 - 11
0001-2,9 - - - 3 - - - - 3
0001-8 - - - - - 1 - - 1
0003-1,6,10,11,12 - 1 4 3 - - 1 - 9
0003-6,10 - - - 1 - - - - 1
0007-6,10 3 2 2 1 - - - - 8
0007-6,10 +Warrego - - 1 - - - - - 1
0007-6,8,10 5 12 8 1 - 1 - 3 30
0007-6,8,10 +Warrego 1 - - - - - - - 1
0071-0 15 43 41 5 1 2 - - 107
0107-3,6,10 2 - - - - - - - 2
0207-1,6,10,11,12 1 - 1 1 - - - - 3
0207-6,10 14 33 31 12 2 - - - 92
0207-6,10 +Warrego 3 - 2 - - - - - 5
0307-6,10 19 6 - - - - - - 25
0607-6,10 - - 1 - - - - - 1
2207-6,10 - 1 - - - - - - 1
4003-6,10 - - - 2 1 - - - 3
4473-6,10 12 14 6 4 - - - - 36
Total no. isolates 80 158 151 63 6 20 28 3 509
Total no. samples 37 80 76 33 2 15 27 3 273
No. failed samples 2 15 13 1 0 3 6 0 40

Return to Table of Content



Comparison of Hybridization Methods in Oat for Improvement in the Yield of F1-seed

Sandra Berger
Saatzucht Edelhof, Edelhof 1, A-3910 Zwettl, Austria
Phone & Fax: (**43) 02822/52402-16
e-mail: eho-saat@wvnet.at


Generally, since the 1930s oat cultivation has been on the decline caused mainly by the replacement of drought animals by motorized vehicles in transportation systems. Crop cultivation is ultimately governed by market forces. If demand declines, the cultivation area decreases accordingly. The difficulties of oat breeders go hand-in-hand with decline of demand; breeding oats is less economic in our days. The other problem is oat breeding is more difficult than breeding other cereals due to the fact that there is less seed set in oat crosses.

The objectives of this study were to compare seed sets and practical implementation of some crossing methods common in Europe, to compare seed sets reached by experienced and inexperienced staff, and to compare seed sets of crosses of different oat genotypes.

Materials and methods

In our experiment five methods were compared with one standard-method, one method ran out of the comparison because of its totally different handling taking place in the greenhouse. On each day one of the compared methods was made with the standard-method for each genotype in three repetitions by one inexperienced and one experienced person. On each panicle 12 florets of first order were emasculated and pollinated.

If in the methods isolation with pollination bags was necessary, it was made by white-paper-bags. These bags were creased and moistened inside and outside. In some methods pollination took place immediately after emasculation during the whole day. On one hand risk of injuries on the florets is much lower because of just one opening of the flower, on the other hand the probability of natural self-pollination increases. In other methods pollination was made one day after emasculation. In some cases, pollination was repeated one day after the first pollination to take care of the different ripening of the stigmas.

Female plants were selected in the northern part of the plot and were shaded to protect stigmas from drying up.

Pollination was made by one anther per floret or one male panicle per female panicle. Only an amount of anthers that could be used within 10 to 15 min was collected. After that time only 50% of the pollen would be ready to germinate.

The five spring oat genotypes "Expander", "Pony", "Revisor", "Tikal", and "Euro" used in the experiment of this study were chosen to reflect a diversity of early and late maturity. "Expander" has always been chosen as female plant for emasculations. Because of the hot, moist weather the early genotypes "Tikal" and "Euro" had to be omitted, because after the first day no or very few usable Pollen could be found.

Table 1. Crossing methods
Method Standard Method 1 Method 2 Method 3 Method 4 Method 5 EDS
Emasculation traditional Schnitthilfe Schnitthilfe traditional traditional traditional traditional


immediately after 1 day immediately after 1 day immediately after 1 day after 1 day
Pollination 1 anther 1 anther 1 anther 1 panicle 1 anther 1 panicle 1 panicle


no no no yes no yes yes
Isolation no yes yes yes no yes yes


Traditional. The spikelet was held near the base with the ventral outer glume facing the hybridist. The outer glumes were separated with forceps, the exposed secondary floret removed. The palea was separated from the lemma and the three anthers were extracted.

Schnitthilfe. After opening the outer glumes of the floret and removing the second floret, the distal third of the palea and lemma was cut off, so that the hybridist could extract the anthers without separating palea and lemma.


With 1 anther. One mature anther was placed into the floret and was gently tapped against the inside of the lemma to make sure that the anther opens and spreads pollen on the stigma hairs.

Method 3

The idea of this method was to give the spikelets an ideal position for pollination. Before emasculation a small plastic tube (13 mm in dia) was pulled over the female plant onto the ground. After emasculation the tube was pulled up to cover the spikelets. So the spikelets were put up with the open end. The male panicles were put upside down into the plastic tubes so that pollen from the male parent fell directly onto the stigmas.

Method 5

Pollination. The male panicles were cut off and placed in tubes of water attached to stakes which were positioned near the female parents.

EDS-method (Ear Detached Stem) took place in the greenhouse

Before emasculation also the female panicle was cut off with circa 30 cm stem left and placed into a tube filled with a special solution (600 ml distilled water; 15 g sugar; one drop of disinfection fluid). After emasculation, male panicles with circa 40 cm stem were cut off and put into the solution.

Because of the earlier harvest, the kernels were not ripe and the panicles had to be dried (3 h; 30C). After harvesting the kernels were put on H2O2 (1%; 16 h; 20C).


In our experiment we worked with 144 panicles, 864 florets were emasculated and pollinated per person (inexperienced and experienced staff).

Out of these florets 228 set seed (13,19%) ; 121 kernels came from crosses made by an experienced person (14%) ; 107 kernels from an inexperienced person (12,38%). There is no significant difference between inexperienced and experienced staff, either in the standard methods or in the other methods.

At the standard methods the inexperienced person achieved a better average percentage of seed set (17,5%) than the experienced person (16,4%). Working with other methods the experienced staff was more successful (medium percentage 14,24%) than the inexperienced staff (medium percentage 10,19%).

Table 2. Comparison between the methods
Methods Crossed  Harvested % Methods  Crossed Harvested % Statistics
standard 1 36 2500 1 144 37 2569 not significant
standard method  144 27 1875 2 144 43 2986 significant
standard method  144 25 1736 3 144 9 625 significant
standard method  144 16 1111 4 144 13 903 not significant
standard method  144 18 1250 5 144 3 208 significant
6 288 1 35


Methods 1 and 2 led to a better percentage in seed set than the standard method, but only for method 2 was the difference significant. No significant difference was detected between standard method and methods 1 and 4. None of the methods where pollination was made with a panicle achieved a seed set percentage as high as the standard method. The EDS method led to the worst seed set percentage, only one floret out of 288 crossings set seed.

Table 3. Comparison of the crosses with the different oat genotypes

Date Crosses Crossed Harvested % Statistics
25th June Expander × Tikal 144 44 3056 significant
Expander × Euro 144 29 2014
26th June Expander × Pony 144 23 1597 significant
Expander × Revisor 144 47 32,64
29th June Expander × Pony 144 7 4,86 significant
Expander × Revisor 144 27 18,75
30th June Expander × Pony 144 14 972 not significant
Expander × Revisor 144 15 10,42
1st July Expander × Pony 144 11 7,64 not significant
Expander × Revisor 144 10 6,94
2nd July Expander × Pony 72 1 1,39 not significant
Expander × Revisor 72 0 0
Expander × Tikal 72 0 0
Expander × Euro 72 0 0

There is a significant difference between pollination with one panicle and pollination with an anther. Seed set percentages were much higher if florets were pollinated with an anther (18,66%). The average seed set percentages were 2,9% (pollination with one panicle).

If pollination was made with a panicle the experienced staff achieved much higher average seed set percentages (5,79%) than the inexperienced staff (0%).


As one result of the data the percentage of seed set working with pollination with one anther was higher than pollination with panicle. This turned out because by working with each anther selection of ripe anthers can be more precise than working with a whole panicle.

It was also manifested that in these methods experienced staff reached higher results. Because of their experience they selected the most ripe panicles for pollination.

Working with the different methods one objective of our experiment was to investigate their differences in practical work.

The most practical methods were the standard method and method 4. They took the least amount of time to get most of the F1 seeds.

Emasculation in method 1 and method 2 caused a lot of trouble. Nevertheless, the cutting off was made to lighten the extraction of the anthers, palea, and lemma had to be separated. On the other hand it was difficult to pollinate the florets the next day (method 1) because of the dried up florets. It is very difficult to make the anthers stay in the floret, because the dry palea and lemma remained separated.

Methods 3, 5, and 6 need a lot of time for preparation. Although the idea of method 3 is excellent, handling emasculation and pollination was difficult. The most difficult parts of this method were to pull the tube over the female panicle and pollinate without injuring the plant. The tubes are an ideal hiding-place for small insects, temperatures in these tubes are probably too high, and the tube was too confined. These reasons led to a low percentage of seed set. Suggestions for improvement are to use a wider tube and a hopper on the tube, where male panicles were laid in, so that the whole tube is for the female panicle.

Method 5 is the fastest method for crossing oat.

Method 6, the only method taking place in the greenhouse was a big disappointment. Preparation and working with this method was very time consuming. Even after emasculation and pollination the plants had always to be looked after to protect them from dying before harvest. On the practical side there were a lot of difficulties. At emasculation handling with cut-off females emerged as a big problem.

As a reason for the significant differences in seed set of the different crosses it is presumed that the genotypes "Revisor" or "Tikal" had more ripe pollen in the first days, while the genotypes "Euro" or "Pony" were not mature enough to produce fertile pollen. On the last days "Pony" reached a higher or even the same maturity (no significant differences).


The reason for the low and unstable seed set in type of crossing oats in comparison with other cereals is firstly the difference in the inflorescence and secondly in the difference in conditions at anthesis and fertilization.

There is no doubt that success of artificial crossing depends on disturbing the natural flowering and fertilization as little as possible.

Even the experienced hybridist will encounter considerable variation in seed set from time-to-time. Although techniques and environmental conditions influence success, pollen quality at time of pollination appears to be the major determining factor.

Hybridization methods in which pollination is made by one anther are more efficient than those using a whole panicle. The best methods to work with are methods where emasculation is made traditionally and pollination is made by a single anther. Although these pollination-techniques take a lot more time, selection of ripe pollen and therefore the results of seed set are much better.

Generally no significant differences could be detected between inexperienced and experienced staff.


Ball, Sh. T., Campbell, G.S., and Konzak, C.F. 1992. Pollination bags affect wheat spike temperature. Crop Sci. 32, 1155-1159.

Berger, S. 2000 Vergleichende Kreuzungsmethoden bei Hafer zur Verbesserung der Ausbeute an F1-Körnern. Diplomarbeit am Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflanzenzüchtung, Univ. für Bodenkultur, Wien.

Brown, C.M. 1957. Scissor emasculation of oats. Agron. J. 49, 278.

Brown, C.M. and Shands, H.L. 1956. Factors influencing seed set of oat crosses. Agron. J. 48, 173-176.

Coffman, F.A. 1937. Factors influencing seed set in oat crossing. J. Hered. 28, 296-303.

Coffman, F.A. and Mackey. 1959. Process of flowering and artificial crossing in oats. Handb. Pflanzenzüchtung, 2. Aufl., Bd. 2, 491-496, Berlin und Hamburg.

Machán F. 1988. Beschleunigung des Zuchtprozesses bei der Haferzucht. Forschungs-und Zuchtinstitut für Getreidebau, Kromeriz, Separatum Genetik und Zucht (Genetika a slechteni) 24, 225-231.

Marshall, H.G. 1962. Effect of wetting and shading bags on seed set of oat crosses. Crop Sci. 2, 365-366.

Tschermak, E. 1922. Beiträge zur Vervollkommnung der Technik der Bastardierungszüchtung der vier Hauptgetreidearten. Z. Pflanzenzüchtung 8, 1-13.

Von Der Schulenburg, H. 1965. Kreuzungsmethoden bei Hafer. Angew. Botanik XXXVIII, 6, 1965.

Return to Table of Content

The Usage of NIT- (Near-Infrared-Transmission) Technology in the Breeding of Quality Oats

Manuela Haas

Saatzucht Edelhof, Edelhof 1, A-3910 Zwettl, Austria
Phone & Fax: (**43) 02822/52402-16
e-mail: eho-saat@wvnet.at


Quality oats got more and more important as a contribution to a healthy nutrition in the last few years. For humans its protein and fat content are very interesting because of the combination of amino and fatty acids. But the most important constituent are the oat crude fibre because a part of the water soluble material, called ß-glucans, are able to lower blood cholesterol level and minimize the danger of a heart attack. Therefore, for quality oat breeders it is very important to know already in early breeding generations if his strains contains high or low amounts of these constituents. Normally the analysis requires a high impact of labour and money. Moreover, especially in early generations, one should not loose any analysed grains. So, near-infrared-transmission is optimal (NIT), it can be used on early generations, it does not destroy the grains and no specialized personnel is needed for handling. With this project an attempt was made to create a calibration for a new NIT unit for moisture, protein, fat, crude fibre, nivalenol, and husk content of quality oats.

Materials and methods

Seventy randomly selected samples from six European countries were used for the calibration. They were grown over 4 years at two different Austrian locations. Some of them were grown under biological farming. Through different growth conditions a great variability in the constituents investigated was granted and the analysed samples offered extreme values.

For the first update, 38 samples (grown in 1998) were used to renew and refine the calibration. An "Infratec 2000" NIT unit was used for the calibration. In a near-infrared-transmitter the light of a bulb gets divided with the help of a monochromator into 100 wavelengths with a range between 850 and 1050 nm. In this range many functional groups of plant substances (e.g., the peptide bonding between the amino acids of a protein molecule) absorb special wavelengths. The amount of the light that goes through a sample gets measured with a silizium detector and the value is passed over to an internal computer. After the creation of a specific calibration the results of 10 partial measurements are brought together and an estimation of the concentration of specific constituents is given. Like other spectroscopic techniques, the near-infrared-transmission is based on the Lambert-Beer-Bouger law, which describes the relationship between the absorption and the concentration of a substance.

The chemical analyses were carried out at the IFA (Interuniversital Research Institute for Agrarbiotechnology) in Tulln. The moisture content was investigated with a sartorius moisture analyser. To get the protein content, a macro N apparatus and for the fat content a soxtec-extraction instrument was used. The quantity of the crude fibre was investigated with an enzymatic-gravimetric method according to the AOAC method from 1990. The nivalenol content was identified with gas chromatography. The only physical analysis, the investigation of the husk content was conducted with a compressed air debrainer.

After taking the scans on the NIT unit, the results of the analyses were typed into the apparatus also. The calibration was created with the Norwegian software ICM5. But not all of the samples were taken for the calibration, only two thirds of them which contained the most information were filtered out with the help of the method of Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The other samples got into a so-called test set; with these samples the calibration gets tested afterwards.

In the PCA, possible outliers which have been scanned wrongly, gets eliminated also. Then a connection between scanning results and chemical values was tried for each constituent by the method of Partial Least Squares (PLS) for each constituent. To get a functional calibration it is important to create more than one PLS model for each constituent. If the correlation between the predicted and the true value are satisfactory, the calibration can be transferred to the NIT unit and after adding the temperature and instrument constants it can be used to investigate new samples immediately.


The results of the first moisture analyses were significantly lower than the results of the second analyses. This circumstance is explained by the fact that the first set of samples was stored in paper bags in some cases for several years, and of course these samples have lost moisture during this period. The second set of samples was stored in plastic boxes that led to the higher amount of moisture. This different results turned out to be no disadvantage for the calibration. On the contrary, the more different the concentrations of the constituents are, the better applicable is the resulting calibration.

For the calibration for crude fibre not all 108 samples were used, like for the other calibrations; only 40 of the first set of samples could be analysed, because of the high costs.

The minimum detector limit of the used method for nivalenol was 60 µg/kg, unfortunately the contaminations of most of the 70 samples ranged below this value. Only 20 samples could be used for the calibration. Therefore, 45 new samples, which got artificially infected with fusarium isolates, were used for the update. In spite of that fact, only 19 samples were enough contaminated.

Table 1. Results of the analyses

Variable Moisture






Crude fibre




Husk content


Min. value 6,80 8,90 4,10 26,30 81,00 24,00
Max. value 15,00 10,60 6,80 44,30 486,00 34,25
Mean value 9,90 11,80 5,15 33,55 145,60 29,07

After running the calibration program several times, two calibration models seemed to be suitable for practical usage as the main quality character correlation coefficients of the single models were taken. But in one of the two calibrations the stabilisation samples were omitted therefore the standard error of the calibration raised. Moreover after adding the update, the correlations of the calibration containing the stabilisation samples got much better. Therefore this calibration model was taken for later usage.

Table 2. Comparison between the two calibrations

Variable Correlations Ha 198 Correlations Ha 99
Moisture 0,8657 0,9109
Protein 0,9819 0,9620
Fat 0,9839 0,9778
Ballast material 0,8819 0,8358
Nivalenol 0,6907 0,8039

To test the new calibration, samples out of the test set were analysed and the results compared with the true values from the chemical analyses. When the two numbers differed about always the same value, the possibility was present to change the intercept at the NIT unit. The intercept lowers or rises every prediction about the same amount. So the predicted value can get matched better to the true value.

Table 3. Validation of the calibration Ha 198 to the NIT unit

Result Moisture Protein Fat Crude fibres Nivalenol
Ha 198 8,0 11,2 5,0 32,9 123,2
True value  8,2 11,0 5,1 31,6 211,0
Ha 198 8,1 10,7 5,2 30,7 97,3
True value 8,2 10,7 5,4 31,2 n.n.
Ha 198 8,0 11,2 5,1 31,9 104,8
True value 7,8 11,0 5,2 31,1 n.n.

Through the update, the calibration was completed with 38 new samples. With this new information, the calibration could be utilized. The correlation of the nivalenol calibration showed that it could not be used, the calibration for the husk content was taken for the final calibration instead. Until then this calibration was treated separately, because a calibration already existed before starting this project and two updates were provided instead of one calibration and one update.

Table 4. Correlation coefficients of the final calibration

Model Correlation Variable
Ha 49 0,9783 Moisture
Ha 59 0,9388 Protein
Ha 59 0,9174 Fat
Ha 39 0,8466 Ballast material
Ha 90 0,8621 Husk content

During the test of this final calibration the intercept was changed again several times to achieve optimal results. The five samples on which the calibration worked best were kept as standard samples. These samples now get analysed before the start of calibrations. The results must not differ from the true values more than within a specific range. Because the NIT unit needs a certain time to warm up, most of the samples have to be analysed several times until the proper results are given. Only if the results of all five samples are within the range, new samples can be investigated with this calibration.


NIT units do not give very accurate results, because they are based on an indirect method of analyses. On the contrary, the predicted values show analytical errors, which are different from constituent to constituent. Plant breeders as practical users of the calibration do not expect exact quantitative results, they would rather know if a sample contains a high or a low amount of a certain constituent. The NIT unit provides the breeders with these possibilities to charge a reliable sample in a short time. Analysing the growing generations every year, the breeder is able to see tendencies in the development of his breeding material. Moreover, to analyse the samples kernels do not have to be milled or dehusked. This is very important in early generations when few material for seeding is available. The figures achieved need an exact estimation provided by a proper calibration technique.

Therefore it is very important to select samples for these calibrations. One possibility is to choose samples randomly out of the whole population or select them under certain aspects. For this project, the method of random selection was used.

To reach a high variability of the samples, white and yellow oats from several years and different locations were used. Some samples were grown under biological circumstances, mainly to bring in different levels of nitrogen fertilisation and therefore different protein contributions. Black oat samples were neglected because it is known from other projects that the dark colour of the husks disturbs the NIT unit measurements. Because of the great variability the scans differed also. That caused outliers in the PCA results. But the elimination of all these possible outliers would narrow the variability of the samples too much. To avoid that and keep the calibration as broadly as possible it is important to find an average course and to accept certain amounts of interference.

The elaborated calibration was used on early generations for the first time with a F4 generation in the year 1999. Also analysed were the F5 and higher generations from three Austrian locations. The breeder is happy now with the speed and the accuracy of the results given for moisture, protein, fat, crude fibre, and husk content. To improve the calibration and to utilize it, 20 new samples of the year 1999 will be used to create a second update.


Baumer, M., Grauf, R., Göppel, W., und Lenz, W. 1993. Der Einsatz der Nah-Infrarot-Transmissionsspektroskopie (NIT) zur Qualitätsanalyse bei Gerste. Bericht über die 44. Arbeitstagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Saatzuchtleiter an der BAL Gumpenstein, 153-159.

Haas, M. 1999. Kalibrierung eines NIT-Gerätes auf Feuchte, Protein, Fett, Ballaststoffe, Nivalenol und Spelzengehalt von Qualitätshafer. Diplomarbeit am Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflanzenzüchtung an der Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien.

Kölln, P. 1990. Bewußter ernähren mit Haferkleie. Köllnflockenwerke, Broschüre, Ernährungswissenschaftliche Abteilung, Elmshorn/D.

Köster, S. 1989. Methodische Untersuchungen zum Einsatz der Nahinfrarot-Reflexionsspektroskopie (NIRS) in der Körnerrapszüchtung. Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen der Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft Braunschweig - Völkenrode (FAL), Landbauforschung Völkenrode, Sonderheft 98.

Return to Table of Content



Oat Breeding at the Cereal Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Jennifer Mitchell Fetch

Cereal Research Centre, 195 Dafoe Road,
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
Phone & Fax: (204) 983-1460/(204) 983-4604
e-mail: jfetch@em.agr.ca

Four lines have been proposed and supported for registration from the Prairie Oat Breeding Consortium program at the Cereal Research Centre (CRC), Winnipeg, Manitoba. These lines are well-adapted for the eastern section of the Canadian Prairies. The four lines carry resistance to smut and to most of the prevalent races of oat crown rust due to the presence of Pc68. The lines also carry Pg2 and Pg13, which confers resistance to the prevalent races of oat stem rust except for the newly emerging race NA67.

OT292 (AC Pinnacle) yielded higher than AC Medallion and CDC Pacer in the black soil zone of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and also yields well in the brown soil zone of Saskatchewan and Alberta (Table 1). AC Pinnacle carries moderate resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV).

OT296 is a tall semi-dwarf oat and yielded well in the black soil zone of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, compared to the checks in the trial (Table 2). OT296 had the best lodging resistance score among all lines for the two years it was tested in the Western Cooperative Oat Yield Trial. It carries moderate resistance to BYDV.

OT297 is a hulless oat, and has improved quality characteristics over the hulless check AC Belmont. OT297 is derived from a cross between AC Belmont and the Pc68 oat crown rust resistance source. OT297 has moderate resistance to BYDV. Specialized and niche markets are opening that can utilize hulless oats, and OT297 should fit nicely into those markets.

OT298 has AC Assiniboia in its background and exceeded the checks for most characteristics, including grain yield, lodging resistance, and milling yield. OT298 is an average height food quality oat. It is moderately susceptible to BYDV.

Table 1. Mean agronomic and grain quality data from the 1997 and 1998 Western Cooperative Oat Tests
Variety Days to
Grain yield
(100 kg/ha)
Plump Thin Hull Milling
Protein Oil $-glu-can¶
AC Medallion 95.9 49 53.8 65.6 2.5 24 74.7 13 6.5 4.68
CDC Pacer 93.5 48.7 54.9 50.1 3 24 73.6 12.6 6 .....
OT292* 97.4 48.8 59.2 74.3 1.7 24 75.2 12.3 6.5 4.15

* AC Pinnacle
¶ -glucan measured according to AACC 32-23, using the Megazyme test kit. Values were the average of duplicate measurements reported on an "as is" basis, and were averaged over four locations.

Table 2. Mean agronomic and grain quality data from the 1998 and 1999 Western Cooperative Oat Tests
Variety Days to
Grain yield
(100 kg/ha)
Plump Thin Hull Milling
Protein Oil $-glu-can¶
AC Medallion 99.2 48.6 57.1 65.8 2.4 23 70 12.2 7 5.33
CDC Pacer 95.7 47.9 57 49 3.5 24 73 11.4 6 5.36
AC Belmont 97.5 50 41.1 5.3 47.6 8 92 12.5 7 5.73
OT296 99.1 49.5 59 57.5 4.6 22 74.1 12.2 7 5.49
OT297 98.5 54.4 46.2 7.7 20.6 5.4 94.6 13.7 8 5.18
OT298 98.9 50.5 58.4 56.6 2.6 24 74.3 13 6 5.31

* 1998 data only except for $-glucan, the values of which were from the 1999 Western Cooperative Oat Test.
¶ Values were based on a dry weight basis and on a single measurement.
$-glucan was measured according to AACC 32-23, using the Megazyme test kit.

Return to Table of Content

Oat Crown Rust in Canada in 1999

James Chong
Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
195 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M9
e-mail: jchong@em.agr.ca

Oat crown rust (Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae) was first found in trace amounts in southern Manitoba on July 5. Initially, the disease increased slowly due to cool weather, with infections mainly staying at trace levels even after the third week of July. Early seeded fields of susceptible cultivars (e.g., Robert, Riel, Dumont) escaped damage. Crown rust then became severe in the eastern prairie region (Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan). By mid-August, moderate to heavy crown rust infections were commonly found on wild oat and in late maturing fields of susceptible cultivars throughout these regions to as far west as Weyburn, SK. Yield and quality damage due to crown rust in the later maturing fields would likely be significant. In contrast, cultivars AC Assiniboia, AC Medallion (both cultivars have Pc38, Pc39, Pc68) and Triple Crown (Pc48) had trace to light amounts of crown rust, levels too low to cause damage.

Surveys for oat crown rust incidence and severity were conducted in southern Manitoba from early July to mid-August, and in eastern Saskatchewan in mid-August. Crown rust collections were obtained from wild oat (Avena fatua) and commercially grown oat in farm fields, and from susceptible and resistant oat lines and cultivars grown in uniform rust nurseries. A four-letter code (Chong et al. 2000) was used to identify virulence phenotypes of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae. Sixteen single-gene oat lines arranged in four groups (subset 1 = Pc40, Pc45, Pc46, Pc50; subset 2 = Pc38, Pc39, Pc48, Pc68; subset 3 = Pc51, Pc52, Pc58, Pc59; subset 4 = Pc54, Pc56, Pc62, Pc64) were used as the primary differential hosts. Single-gene lines with Pc94 and Pc96 were included in the differential sets as supplemental differentials.

One hundred and eighteen virulence phenotypes were identified from 325 single-pustule isolates established from collections from Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 1999. In Ontario, 12 virulence phenotypes were identified from 25 isolates. Frequency and distribution of isolates virulent on the 18 differentials are shown in Table 1. As in recent years, the rust populations in Ontario and eastern prairie region were predominated by isolates with virulence to genes Pc38 and Pc39. The most common virulence phenotype in Ontario was BQBB at 36% of the isolates, followed by BNBB at 20% of the isolates. In the eastern Prairie region, the most common phenotype was BQBB (14.8% of the isolates), followed by BQLB (7.1%), DQBB (5.8%), and LQBB (4.6%). Several isolates were isolated from AC Assiniboia and AC Medallion in the resistant sets. Genes Pc48, Pc68, Pc94, and Pc96 are being used to develop cultivars with different resistance gene combinations in the oat breeding program at the Cereal Research Centre, Winnipeg. Gene Pc94, derived from the diploid Avena strigosa, continues to be highly effective to crown rust as it has since 1992.


Chong, J., Leonard, K.L., and Salmeron, J.J. 2000. A North American system of nomenclature for Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae. Plant Dis. 84, 580-585.

Table 1. Frequency and distribution of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae isolates virulent on differential lines of Avena sativa with single genes (Pc) for crown rust resistance in Canada in 1999

gene line
Ontario Manitoba/Saskatchewan
No. of isolates % No. of isolates

Return to Table of Content

Update on Oat Stem Rust Pathotype NA67

B. McCallum and T. Fetch, Jr.
Cereal Research Centre, 195 Dafoe Road,
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
Phone & Fax: (204) 983-0771/(204) 983-4604
e-mail: bmccallum@em.agr.ca

Oat stem rust (caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. avenae) has not been a serious disease problem in the eastern prairie region of Canada since the epidemic of 1977. This is due primarily to the incorporation of resistance genes Pg9 and Pg13 into commercially grown cultivars. The frequency of virulence to Pg9 was very high in the eastern prairie region of Canada in the 1950's and early 1960's, prior to the rise in dominance of pathotype NA27 in the late 1960's. During the same time period, virulence to Pg13 also was common. However, stem rust pathotypes virulent to Pg9 and Pg13 (NA3 and NA7) were avirulent to Pg2. Gene Pg2 was widely used as a resistance source in the 1960's, likely suppressing the occurrence of pathotypes NA3 and NA7. From the time that the resistance gene Pg2 was incorporated into oat varieties with Pg13, and sometimes also with Pg9, there had not been a serious stem rust threat to oat production in the eastern prairie region of Canada.

However, stem rust pathotype NA67 appeared in western Canada in 1998 and again in 1999. This pathotype is virulent to all the genes used in the differential set (Pg1, Pg2, Pg3, Pg4, Pg8, Pg9, Pg13, and Pg15) except for Pg16 and Pga. With the combined virulence spectrum on Pg2, Pg9, and Pg13, pathotype NA67 is virulent to all currently grown cultivars in western Canada. The frequency of pathotype NA67 was 21.9% in 1998 (Table 1), representing a dramatic shift of virulence from the 1997 Pg. avenae population. In 1999 the frequency of pathotype NA67 was 32.2% (Table 2). Another new pathotype (NA76) was identified in 1999 that also has virulence to Pg2, Pg9, and Pg13 but differs from NA67 because it is avirulent to Pg15.

Host resistance genes that can be used to control NA67 and NA76 include Pg10, Pg16,and Pga. Studies are currently underway to evaluate oat lines containing these resistance genes in nurseries inoculated with NA67, NA76, and a composite of other pathotypes. These studies will provide valuable information on the usefulness of each gene and for prioritization of incorporating different genes into the currently grown cultivars. Additionally, other germplasm sources such as wild Avena species will be evaluated for novel sources of oat stem rust resistance.

Table 1. Isolates of Puccinia graminis f. sp. avenae collected in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 1998

Races Host Pg genes


Collections from 
Wild oat Cultivated oat
NA27 9,13,15,16,a/1,2,3,4,8 14  13.3% 10 
NA29 9,13,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,15 58  55.2% 28  30 
NA30 13,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9,15 10  9.5%
NA67 16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9,13,15 23  21.9% 16 
105  46  59 

Table 2. Isolates of Puccinia graminis f. sp. avenae collected in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 1999

Races Host Pg genes


Total Percent Collections from 
Wild oat Cultivated oat
NA16 2,4,9,13,15,16,a/1,3,8 1 0.6% 0 1
NA27 9,13,15,16,a/1,2,3,4,8 21 12.1% 10 11
NA29 9,13,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,15 86 49.4% 24 62
NA30 13,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9,15 4 2.3% 3 1
NA67 16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9,13,15 56 32.2% 14 42
NA68 13,15,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9 1 0.6% 1 0
NA76 15,16,a/1,2,3,4,8,9,13 5 2.9% 1 4
174 53 121

Return to Table of Content


Germplasm of Wild and Cultivated Oat Species at Plant Gene Resources of Canada

A. Diederichsen and D. Williams
Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N OX2
Phone & Fax: (306) 956-2839/(306) 956-7246
e-mail: diederichsena@em.agr.ca


A four-year project on regeneration and characterization of oat germplasm maintained at Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC) started in 1999. An outline of this four-year project was given in the previous edition of the Oat Newsletter (Vol. 45). This article reports the project's progress.

Oat descriptors

A descriptor list for wild and cultivated oat was generated. This list was finalized after consultation with several Canadian oat breeders and pathologists. Also, genebank curators in the USA, Germany, and Russia were contacted to ensure the relevance of the descriptor list. The characters observed have to serve two purposes: (1) to allow for determination of the botanical species; and (2) to describe the accessions using characters which are of particular interest to plant breeders. The descriptor list for oats applied by PGRC considers three phenological and 34 morphological traits. Of the morphological traits 10 are describing vegetative plant parts and 24 generative plant parts. Many characters of the panicle and in particular of the single florets and seeds are very important for determination of the botanical species. Most of the characters observed and recorded by PGRC are of high heritability and, therefore, of high diagnostic value for taxonomic purposes. Plant breeders, however, are more interested in quantitative traits, which can only be described by conducting field trials with replications. This is beyond the capacities of PGRC. For evaluation of disease resistance traits PGRC is cooperating with the plant pathologists at the Cereal Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (J. Chong).

Acquisition of additional germplasm

Recent acquisition of additional germplasm has been mainly limited to acquiring Canadian cultivars. Twenty-one Chinese hulless cultivars and a hulless line with a mutation for sessile florets have entered the collection (V. Burrows, Ottawa). Recently a new tetraploid wild oat species, Avena insularis, has been found on Sicily, Italy. It is morphologically very similar to the hexaploid A. sterilis. This new species can be hybridized with A. sativa and the hybrids are partially self-fertile. Seeds of this species were received from Prof. Dr. G. Ladizinsky, Israel, who detected and described this species (Ladizinsky 1998).

Regeneration and characterization of oat germplasm in 1999

Table 1 summarizes the regeneration of oat germplasm at PGRC in 1999. With the exception of a very few accessions, which did not mature before harvest, field regeneration of cultivated oat was very successful for the accessions of cultivated oat. If the amount of seed available of a particular accession was not sufficient initially, regeneration was conducted in greenhouses. For the wild oat species the situation was very different. The field increase was planted on June 5th, 1999. Late planting in combination with the cool weather during the 1999 growing season resulted in many accessions not reaching maturity or even heading before the first frost on September 16 terminated any further development. The greenhouse increase of wild oat was much more secure and some seeds could always be harvested. Seed numbers of less than 1000 seeds in the greenhouse were in most cases due to a reduced number of plants planted.

Table 1. Number of accessions planted and successfully increased in 1999

Group Location Number of accessions
Planted More than 1000 seeds harvested
Cultivated oat
Wild oat


Use of the characterization data

For 122 accessions of wild oat the botanical species determination was corrected. This clearly demonstrates the importance of morphological observation. However, the species determination is still doubtful in some other cases. For some accessions it is necessary to count the chromosome number to ensure the botanical determination. The collected data will allow for a better overview of the diversity available within the PGRC collection. Queries for accessions with a desired trait or a combination of several desired traits will be possible in the near future. The collected data will be accessible via the Internet, once the technical problems for connecting the PGRC database (GRIN-CA) to the World-Wide-Web have been resolved.

International cooperation

PGRC is working on improving international cooperation for Avena germplasm. Close cooperation between PGRC and the Avena database of the European Cooperative Programme for Conservation and Exchange of Crop Genetic Resources (ECP/GR) is planned. The European Avena database is located at the BAZ Genebank at Braunschweig, Germany. Closer ties between PGRC and the European information network on Avena genetic resources will result in better safeguarding Avena genetic resources internationally. Contact has been established with the curator of the oat collection at the N. I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, Dr. I. Loskutov, to coordinate the characterization of oat germplasm at PGRC with the research done at St. Petersburg.

Plans for 2000

This year 3738 accessions of cultivated oat were planted in the field during the third week in May. The Crop Development Centre at University of Saskatchewan (B. Rossnagel) supports the regeneration of germplasm by planting an additional 500 accessions of cultivated oat. During the first week of May PGRC planted 560 accessions of wild oat species in the field. Mostly hexaploid oat accessions of the species A. sterilis were planted, since this species appears to experience less trouble with the outdoor conditions at Saskatoon. Regeneration and characterization of the oat collection at PGRC will be continued during the next few years. The Canadian collection of wild oat species is the largest of its kind in the world. Accessions of the hexaploid species Avena sterilis from the PGRC collection have been used for introducing resistance genes into cultivated oat. Collection of additional oat germplasm in the Mediterranean area (Italy and Greece) is planned for 2000. These two collection missions will pay particular attention to species of wild oat.


The ongoing project of characterization and evaluation of oat germplasm is supported by the Agricultural Development Fund Saskatchewan, Can-Oat Milling Produces Inc., Quaker Oat Company of Canada Ltd. and the Matching Investment Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.


Ladizinsky, G. 1998. A new species of Avena from Sicily, possibly the tetraploid progenitor of hexaploid oats. Gen. Res. Crop Evolu. 45, 263-269.

Return to Table of Content

Oat in Saskatchewan 1999/2000

B.G. Rossnagel, G.J. Scoles, G. Arganosa, and T. Zatorski
Crop Development Centre
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
Phone & Fax: (306) 966-4976/(306) 966-5015
e-mail: brian.rossnagel@sask.usask.ca

Saskatchewan remained the number one province in Canada in terms of oat acreage and production in 1999 with 2,000,000 acres planted. The growing season was difficult with delayed planting due to cold wet weather during May. Generally good precipitation was received through June and July although, much of south-east Saskatchewan suffered considerably from excess rainfall. While late, the harvest season was good with an extended warm dry period from early September through October. Despite low prices nearly 2,000,000 acres will again be planted in 2000. Major varieties continue to be Calibre and Derby, although newer varieties CDC Boyer, AC Medallion and AC Assiniboia are occupying increasing acreage. New varieties which are likely to have an impact over the next few years include CDC Pacer, Triple Crown, SW Exactor and AC Morgan. Also new on the scene will be the CDC forage varieties CDC Bell and CDC Baler although Certified seed of these will not be widely available until 2001 and 2002.

Oat R&D activity at the CDC continues to emphasize the development of high quality milling oat varieties. Highlights for the year include the hiring on January 4, 2000 of Tom Zatorski (MSc) as an assistant breeder for the CDC non-malting barley and oat and support for registration of OT373. OT373 is a selection with much improved milling quality and good adaptation to the non-rust areas of western Canada. It will be registered later in 2000 and released through Cargill Seeds with the proposed name is CDC Dancer.

Recent special activities include continued involvement in the Quaker Quality Oat Project which has led to a major addition of rust resistance as an objective in the CDC program with the first resistant lines moving to prairie wide trials in 2000. Via matching support for a portion of our QQOP funds from a NSERCC Collaborative Research and Development Grant, Dr. Cheng Dao Li (post-doc/research associate) has made considerable progress in the discovery and development of microsatellite markers for marker assisted oat breeding. Another new discovery in 1999, made in collaboration with colleagues at the Prairie Feed Resources Centre and the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, was the identification of a source of low lignin hull which has the potential to dramatically improve whole oat digestibility for ruminants. This has stimulated the development of a major R&D project aimed at the production of a high energy highly digestible oat for ruminants. Shane Williams joined the project in January, 2000 as an MSc student. His project will evaluate the inheritance of the low lignin hull trait and it association with other important quality traits.

The CDC oat project is funded by a Strategic Grant from the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture & Food Agriculture Development Fund and by the University of Saskatchewan. The project receives additional funding support from the Quaker Oats Company of Canada, the Quaker Oats Company, Cargill, General Mills, CanOat Milling and NSERCC. We wish to gratefully acknowledge that support.

Return to Table of Content

OT373 Milling Oat Supported for Registration

B.G. Rossnagel and G.J. Scoles
Crop Development Center, University of Saskatchewan,
51 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8
Phone & Fax: (306) 966-4976/(306) 966-5015
e-mail: brian.rossnagel@sask.usask.ca

OT373, a new oat cultivar with exceptional milling yield developed at the Crop Development Centre (CDC), University of Saskatchewan, was supported for registration in Canada during February 2000. OT373 is derived from a cross between a CDC breeding line OT344 and an AAFC, CRC breeding line W90279 and was tested in the 1998 and 1999 Western Canadian Cooperative Oat trials and the Quaker Uniform Oat Nursery as OT373 or S096473.

In those trials OT373 consistently demonstrated significantly greater milling yield than all other entries with milling yields some 5% greater than checks cultivars AC Medallion and CDC Pacer. In addition, it has large, plump grain with high test weight and very low % hull, low % fat, good straw strength, and smut resistance. It is similar to CDC Pacer and CDC Boyer for grain yield and maturity. While carrying stem rust resistance, it does not have crown rust resistance, thus is best adapted to the non-rust area of Saskatchewan and Alberta. While primarily designed as a milling variety, OT373 should also be a good fit for the feed industry due to excellent physical grain quality.

OT373 will be registered later in 2000 with the proposed name of CDC Dancer. It will be released exclusively to Cargill Seeds of Winnipeg for pedigreed seed production and marketing. Certified seed should be available by the spring of 2004.

Return to Table of Content



Oat Genotypes for Grain Quality Breeding Under the Conditions of Western Siberia

G.Y. Kozlova and N.G. Smischuk
Siberian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Omsk

Oat is one of the most important grain and fodder crops in Western Siberia. There are extremely high to newly-made cultivars that emphasized the topicality of oat quality increases. In this relation, the biochemical composition analysis of the world collection of oat gives a great perspective to the breeding of this crop for improvement of grain protein content, nutritional, and fodder value.

It is necessary to take into consideration that the conditions of cultivation (climate, soil, agro-machinery system, etc.) greatly influence the development of genotypes. According to these facts, some grain quality data may have regional character. We have researched a great number of samples of oat from different eco-geographical zones.

The collection was planted in the experimental fields of SARI (southern forest-steppe zone of Western Siberia) during 1992-1998 with constant moisture levels. The soil is black earth (Webster type) with average clay and alkali content. Agro-mechanics system is generally accepted in the zone. The content of protein, lysin, oil, membranes, and starch in the grain was detected by infared analyzer (NIR scanner 4250).

The results of the biochemical analysis of the samples and forms showed a rather high amplitude of oat quality change within a year, and that identified a great variety of the samples taken according to different indexes. Great variation is seen in the content of protein, oil, lysin, less starch and membranes. High protein content were found in samples from the USA and Canada in most of the years. The early samples had a tendency for increased protein accumulation.

It is rather difficult to distinguish the best genotypes with constant protein content independent of the year of evaluation. The American samples were to be considered. They have grain protein content up to 14.0-15.8% that is 1-2% higher compared with regional standards - Skakun and Irtysh 13 (released cultivars in that zone).

The important index, determining biological and nutritional value of oats is oil content. When the breeding is done on the higher level, much attention is paid to this index. The oil content variation in various genotypes studied in different years, ranged from 11.1% to 16.6%. High oil content were found in accessions from the USA - Hazel and line IL 85-2069. Oil accumulation in these was 0.8-1.0% higher than the standard index. Attention should be paid to the fact, that large-kernel samples, as a rule, have less oil content because of free oil distribution in the seed. The smallest concentration of oil is found in the germ.

Starch is the main component of the carbohydrate group in the kernel. The characteristics of oat grain, according to this index, are quite necessary in connection with use in the food industry, as the dietetic peculiarities are related to the carbohydrate availability, that determines oat jelly properties. Under local conditions starch content of the collection samples in the years taken varied from 40.8% to 53.9%. The probability of breeding the best according to this index samples is very low (2.1-3.7%). Cultivar Sheldon (USA) has relatively high starch content (48.3-53.9%).

So, after studying the biochemical characteristics of the oat collection there are distinguished genotypes, which are of great interest for quality breeding.

Return to Table of Content


Algorithm of Searching and Creating Acid-resistant Populations and Varieties of Oat

E.M. Lisitsyn and G.A. Batalova
North-East Agricultural Research Institute, named after N.V. Rudnitsky
610007, Lenin Street, Kirov, 166-a


In the last decades there is increased interest to developing oat varieties with adaptation to acid, low fertile soils of non-Black-Soil region of Russia. The presence of different factors, which are stressful for plants in soils with low pH, heightened content of exchangeable ions of phytotoxic metals (e.g., aluminum, manganese) and low content of phosphorous, etc., are causes to testing resistance of plant root systems to these factors.

Principal disadvantage of methods of an assessment of plants acid resistance, available for today, (Definition of acid resistance 1996; Aniol 1985; Bilski and Foy 1987; Wagatsuma et al. 1987) is using only one character, describing only one side of plant metabolism, as a criterion of selection. However, a complex of interacting physiological processes determines resistance at organism level. Therefore the purpose of this investigation was to estimate correlation of laboratory parameters of oat for acid resistance with elements of frame of yield in field conditions for a choice of most informative of them.

Materials and methods

Twenty-five oat varieties from Russian and foreign breeding programs were used for the experiments. Under laboratory conditions plants grown in rolled culture (band of a filter paper 16 × 100 sm; 75-100 seeds of each variety were placed on a roll 1 sm from its upper border). Distilled water was used as a test treatment (pH 6.0), and 1 mM aluminum sulfate (pH 4.3) as aluminum treatment. The account of concentrations and activities of the monomeric forms of aluminum (Kinraide 1994) has shown, that in the applied solutions the predominant amount of aluminum was in the most phytotoxic form, Al3+ (Table 1). 600 ml of solution and 3 rolls with seeds of each variety were put into 1 L glass pots. The pots were then put in a growth chamber at 21-23C for 5 days. The experiment had three multiple repetitions.

Table 1. The forms of aluminum, their concentration and activity (µM) in solution and on a root surface as calculated by the program SGCS (Kinraide 1994)

The form of aluminum
In solution
On a root surface
Concentration, µM
Activity, µM Concentration, µM Activity, µM
Al 3+ 869.46 421.59 27.77 13.46
AlOH 2+ 116.04 84.12 11.68 8.47
Al(OH)2+ 14.45 13.33 4.59 4.23
Al(OH)3 0.0531 0.0531
Al(OH)4- 0.00144 0.00133
Al3++OH-Al 999.99 519.1

Ionic strength = 5724.53 µM, pH of medium = 4.30, pH on a root surface = 4.80

The same oat varieties were studied under field conditions at the Falenki Breeding Station of the Northeast Agricultural Research Institute. Two edaphic backgrounds of turf-podzol middle clay soil were used: neutral field (pH 6.5, the exchangeable aluminum is absent) and acid field (pH 3.8, content of exchangeable aluminum is 24 mg/100 g of soil). The sowing was carried out on plots by square 1.0-2.0 m2 in 3 multiple repetition by a seeder CKC 6-10. All observations, assessments, and accounts were carried out according to "The methodical indications 1973". Elements of frame of yield were determined at the end of vegetation.
The experimental data was analyzed statistically with the use of the software package STATGRAPHICS Plus, v.2.

Results and discussion

As for man the most significant characteristic of any variety is its productivity, at the first stage of work we calculated connection of productivity (on acid and neutral backgrounds) and degree of its modification (acid background relative to neutral background, %) with laboratory parameters of a resistance. The use of a multiple regression analysis has allowed us to conclude, that among all used laboratory parameters in statistically authentic (at a level P = 0.05) equation of regression have come the next: length of the roots in test treatment (Lk), relative root length (RRL = the attitude of length of the root in aluminum treatment to length of the root in test treatment) and percent of a penetration of the roots into solution (PP). As a resulting parameter the percent of a grain yield on an acid background relative to yield in neutral background (% of yield) is used:
% of yield = - 46.09 + 0.397 Lk + 0.737 RRL - 0.245 PP.

As only three from the investigated laboratory parameters have come into the equation of multiple regression, it was interesting to account the coefficients of their pair correlations with some elements of frame of yield. This account is presented in Table 2.

The rather low values of coefficients of pair correlation can be explained by existence of varieties, distinguishing by their response on a modification of conditions of cultivation, among the used set. The method of an assessment of genotypic stability and plasticity, offered by Pagudin and Lopatina (1984), was applied for separation of varieties on groups. This method has permitted us to divide the whole set of varieties into 3 groups.

Varieties of the first group (I-2001, I-2023, Fakir, Falenskij-3, Chizh, Teremok, and Ulov) are possible to be recommended for cultivation in conditions of high culture of agriculture, as they raise considerably their productivity when enriching conditions of cultivation. On the contrary, varieties Baum, Lorenz, Check and Kozyr are more conservative on a response on a modification of conditions, i.e., are steadier against cultivation on acid soils.

\As seen from Table 2, when analysis a set of varieties, uniform on a plasticity, the force of connection between laboratory parameters of acid resistance and elements of frame of yield considerably rises, achieving on occasion to 0.955. Thus with separate elements of frame of yield the connection has an identical directedness for all groups of varieties (RRL and yield on an acid field; length of the roots in test treatment and yield in both fields), whereas for the majority of parameters these connections have an inverse direction (length of the roots in test treatment and number of grains in the panicle on an acid field; RRL and number of grains in the panicle for neutral field). It specifies distinction of physiological processes, which are descend in plants of varieties different on plasticity, and demands the further inspection and more deep judgment.

As a whole it is possible to mark, that the offered parameters of a laboratory assessment are suitable for prediction of a degree of a modification of oat varieties productivity at cultivation them in conditions of heightened soil acidity and presence of exchangeable ions of aluminum. The similar measurements are not destructive and allow using seedlings after estimation for the further cultivation and observations.

As to find a plant with desirable indications among an existing plant material is cheaper and easier, than to create similar plants by methods of mutation breeding or biotechnology, it is possible to offer the following algorithm of their searching and breeding.

At the first stage the reliability of a genotype × environment interaction estimates by methods of an analysis of variance. If it presents the further analysis of a plasticity and stability of exhibiting of a desirable character (productivity) will be carried out by method of Pagudin and Lopatina (1984). Breeding of varieties having a high stability and heightened productivity in neutral conditions will be carried out further. On the above-stated laboratory parameters steadiness for acid conditions seedlings are selected, and further are grown up to a stage of full maturity and are used for creating high productivity acid resistance population of plants.


Aniol, A. 1984. Breeding of triticale for aluminum tolerance. Genet. Breed. Triticale. Proc. 3rd EUCARPIA Meet. Cereal Sec. Triticale, 2-5 July, Paris 573.

Bilski, J.J. and Foy, C.D. 1987. Differential tolerance of cat cultivars to aluminium in nutrient solutions and in acid soil of Poland. J. Plant Nutr., 1987, 10, 249-260.

Definition of acid resistance of grain cultures. The methodical indications. Saint Petersburg. VIR, 1996 (in Russian).

The methodical indications on study of a world collection of barley and oat. Leningrad, 1973 (in Russian).

Pagudin, V.Z. and Lopatina, M.L. 1984. An assessment of an ecological plasticity and stabilities of agricultural cultures varieties. Selskohozajstvennaja biologia 4, 109-113 (in Russian).

Wagatsuma, T., Kyuuda, T., and Sakuraba, A. 1987. Aluminum accumulation characteristics of aluminum-tolerant plants. Bull. Yamagata Univ., Agric. Sci., v.10, 2, 355-359.

Table 2. Coefficients of pair correlations between elements of yield of oat varieties and criteria of selection in water-paper culture

Criteria Yield 1000 kernel


Number of kernels

in panicle

Productive tilling


Varieties which strongly react to enriching of growth conditions
Acid background
Lk -0.389* 0.908* -0.316* -0.226
RRL 0.711* -0.582* -0.142 0.137
PP -0.271 0.834* -0.239 0.087
Neutral background
Lk -0.771* 0.103 0.415* -0.695*
RRL 0.501* 0.198 -0.546* 0.078
PP -0.541* 0.543* 0.472* -0.869*
Acid background as relative to neutral background (%)
Lk 0.07 0.798* -0.685* 0.584*
RRL 0.420* -0.757* 0.294 -0.012
PP 0.087 0.355 -0.641* 0.801*
Varieties which do not react to enriching of growth conditions
Acid background
Lk -0.447* 0.092 -0.531* -0.169
RRL 0.309* -0.019 0.428* 0.301*
PP -0.035 0.176 -0.095 0.436*
Neutral background
Lk -0.346* -0.003 -0.476* 0.043
RRL 0.176 -0.407* 0.428* -0.084
PP 0.417* -0.165 0.634* -0.361*
Acid background as relative to neutral background (%)
Lk -0.017 0.093 0.107 -0.142
RRL 0.081 0.118 -0.115 0.178
PP -0.257 0.225 -0.585* 0.530*
Varieties with middle plasticity
Acid background
Lk 0.036 0.115 -0.157 0.215
RRL 0.303* 0.063 0.208 -0.121
PP -0.047 0.165 -0.198 0.156
Neutral background
Lk -0.079 -0.063 -0.057 -0.201
RRL -0.027 -0.13 -0.163 0.216
PP 0.026 -0.132 0.029 -0.105
Acid background as relative to neutral background (%)
Lk 0.079 -0.035 -0.118 0.359*
RRL 0.244 0.143 0.307* -0.261
PP -0.042 0.072 -0.222 0.24

Lk - root length in test treatment; RRL - relative root length; PP - percent of penetration; * - Statistically significant ( = 0,05).

Return to Table of Content


Evaluation of Interspecific Diversity in Avena Genus by RAPD Analysis

I.G. Loskutov and I.N. Perchuk
N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, 44, Bolshaya Morskaya St.,
St. Petersburg, 190000, Russia
e-mail: loskutov@rgenri.spb.ru


Until today, the systematic position of the species in genus Avena L. still remains disputable among researchers. Two tendencies are obvious in the modern classifications of Avena L.: expansion of the volume of species (so-called biological species) and subdivision of species into smaller ones on the basis of morphological and especially karyological differences. Extreme examples of these trends are such classifications where the number of species is either only 14, or amounts to 34. In this connection a molecular approach was used to study the phylogenetic relationships of Avena diploid and polyploid species based on RAPD-markers analyses (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA).

Materials and methods

In this investigation (Perchuk et al. 1999, joint project VIR (Russia)/NIAR (Japan)) genetic variability in RAPDs was studied in 74 accessions (mostly Mediterranean origin) representing 20 species with different ploidy levels - diploids, tetraploids, and hexaploids. Diploids - A. clauda Dur., A. pilosa M.B. (Cp genome); A. ventricosa Bal. (Cv genome); A. longiglumis Dur. (Al genome); A. canariensis Baum (Ac genome); A. wiestii Steud., A. hirtula Lag., A. atlantica Baum, and A. strigosa Schreb. Tetraploids - A. barbata Pott., A. vaviloviana Mordv., A. abyssinica Hoch. (AB genomes); A. magna Mur. et Terr., and A. murphyi Ladiz. (AC genomes). Hexaploids - A. fatua L., A. occidentalis Dur., A. sterilis L., A. ludoviciana Dur., A. byzantina Koch, and A. sativa L. (ACD genomes).

DNA was extracted from primary leaves of 3-5-week-old plants by method of Murray and Tompson (1980) with some modifications. RAPD analyses was carried out according to the protocols of Tsukuba (1996). For this investigation 15 primers were chosen from 113 previously tested primers. All of these primers generated 56 scorable amplification products (Table 1). They were highly informative in the detection of polymorphism between species.


The highest level of polymorphism was observed in diploid species (50 components), and lower levels in tetraploids and hexaploids -32 and 26 components, respectively. Cluster analysis was carried out on the matrix of DICE coefficient with the UPGMA-method. Accessions of different species were discriminated obviously by different ploidy level and genome constitution.

Table 1. Characteristics of primers which were used in RAPD-analyses

Primer Structure of primer Quantity of polymorphic components
Total quality of components

Diploid species consisted of two clusters united variants of A genome (A. longiglumis,A. canariensis, A. wiestii, A. hirtula, A. atlantica, and A. strigosa) and C genome (A. clauda, A. pilosa, and A. ventricosa) species, respectively. Results were in general agreement with morphology based phylogenetic analyses, confirming the large differentiation among A and C genomes in evolution of diploid species. Aside from variants of A genome subdivided into two groups: genomes Ac, Al, and As. A certain divergence was observed between two similar species A. longiglumis and A. canariensis and other diploid species with A genome (Fig. 1). The results agree with Nocelli et al. (1999) data.

Tetraploid species were divided into two clusters formed by AB genomes (A. barbata, A. vaviloviana, A. abyssinica) and AC genomes (A. magna, A. murphyi). The analyses of tetraploid species relationships confirms the differentiation of the barbata complex from the magna-murphyi group, which, despite some similarities in morphological and biochemical traits, seems to have accumulated deep genetic differences along its evolutionary pathway (Fig. 2).

All hexaploid species were grouped into two subgroups, while the diploid species and the tetraploid species showed more divergence. The most visible separate groups were found in accessions of A. sativa and A. byzantina. In most cases hexaploid species demonstrated the lowest polymorphism by RAPD-markers. This means that all of them have the same structure of genome - ACD. Amplification products specified for A, B, and C genomes, respectively, are shown in Fig. 3.


These characteristics could be used as genome markers for further investigations. The data given confirm and add taxonomical system of genus Avena L. (Loskutov 1999), which are based on morphological, karyological, and hybridological analyses.

Fax: (7-812) 311 87 62
More information is available from our website: http://www.genres.de/vir


Loskutov, I.G. 1999. On the taxonomy of genus Avena L. Proc. XVI International Botanical Congress, USA, p. 422.

Nocelli, E., Giovannini, T., Bioni, M., and Alicchio, R. 1999. RFLP- and RAPD-based genetic relationships of seven diploid species of Avena with the A genome. Genome, v. 42, p. 950-959.

Perchuk, I.N., Okuno, K., Loskutov, I.G., and Ebana, K. 1999. Interspecies variability of oats by RAPD markers. Proc. XVI International Botanical Congress, USA, p. 615.

Return to Table of Content



Proceedings of the European Oat Conference

Sue Barton
Conference Co-ordinator, Semundo Ltd., 49 North Rd., Gt Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AS
Phone & Fax: 44 1223 890777/44 (0) 1223 890666
Email: sue.barton@swseed.se

The proceedings of the Second European Oat Conference entitled "Oats Vive la Différence", held in Cambridge, England in October 1999 are available at a cost of £45 (Pounds Sterling incl p & p) from Sue Baron.

The Proceedings cover the varied programmes of the two-day conference. There was a strong market emphasis on the applications of oats and the number of commissioned case studies demonstrated the exciting prospects for the grain. The presentation on breeding of GM encouraged a stimulating debate with consumers who attended the conference remaining very much in favour of the continuance of classical breeding methods.

In all, over 100 attendees from 19 countries took an active role in giving oats its due platform in an increasingly cereal competitive market.

The next European Oat Conference is scheduled to be held in Sweden in 2001.

Return to Table of Content

Maximizing Energy and Protein

Christopher Green
Semundo Ltd., 49 North Rd., Gt Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AS
Web-site: www.semundo.co.uk
e-mail: christopher.green@swseed.se

Maximising Energy and Protein is the name given to trials being undertaken by crop developers Semundo, England, who in using new varieties are experimenting with different inputs to assess how protein and energy can be effected.

The trials are now in their third year and are based on naked varieties bred by the Institute of Grasslands and Environmental Research (IGER) in Wales. These new varieties bring a high yield potential with very stiff straw and this has enabled Semundo to substantially increase the fertilisation programme in the trials. One of the drawbacks of the oat crop in the UK is lodging and this has restricted the use of higher inputs to exploit higher yield potentials.

At the core of the trials are two named and protected varieties "Icon" and "Grafton" and these are being compared with standard hulled types. The higher levels of nitrogen being used in the trial equates to twice that which would normally be used in farm practice. Last year despite thunder storms prior to harvest, these two varieties stood exceptionally well and were easily harvested.

The targets set for the trial are to achieve yields of 6 tonnes a hectare, 12% oil and 16% protein. Full agronomic recording of trials and quality analysis will be matched to the input programmes and evaluated for costs and delivery of protein and energy. These trails have attracted considerable interest and have been extended for Harvest 2000. With new varieties emerging from the IGER programme, the company Semundo believes that the former targets can now be revised upward and that yields in excess of 6 tonnes per hectare will be achievable. Further details on this programme are available from the author.

Return to Table of Content

Naked Oat Trials Go International

Christopher Green
Semundo Ltd., 49 North Rd., GT Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AS
Website: www.semundo.co.uk
e-mail: christopher.green@swseed.se

Following 6 years of variety evaluation of naked oats in the UK a new pan-European programme has been initiated for Harvest 2000. Collaborators in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Germany have joined in a test programme initiated by the company Semundo to evaluate naked oat varieties from around the world.

This Spring-based programme includes cultivars from Canada, USA, UK, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Germany. Formerly the trials were restricted to three UK sites, but these have now been expanded and the company is hopeful for results from nine test centres.

The results will demonstrate the environmental impact on the growth and performance of the diverse range of material. In addition to agronomy, recording quality assessments will be made both in respect to the physical quality, bushel weight, degree of nakedness, thousand grain weight, as well as protein and oil.

Prevailing low commodity prices has heightened the interest in naked oats as an on-farm food. Further details of this programme are available from the author.

Return to Table of Content



National Small Grains Collection activities

H.E. Bockelman

USDA-ARS National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility
P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210
e-mail: hbockelman@ars-grin.gov

PI Assignments in oats, January 1999 - April 2000

All accessions are Avena sativa

PI608579 Ida United States Michigan
PI608673 Jay United States Indiana
PI610257 Burton United States Ohio
PI610259 Ark. Hull-less United States Arkansas
PI611474 Nyiregyhazi TF Hungary
PI612393 Karma Mexico Federal District
PI612394 Cevamex Mexico Federal District
PI612421 IAN979-5-1-22 United States Iowa
PI612973 LA604 United States Louisiana


Cultivar name clearance

Breeders in the United States are encouraged to have proposed names for new cultivars checked for duplication. The National Small Grains Collection will be glad to assist you. Send the proposed name to: Harold E. Bockelman, USDA-ARS-NSGC, P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210, Fax 208-397-4165, e-mail nsgchb@ars-grin.gov. If desired, more than one name may be submitted, listed in order of preference. This will save considerable time if a conflict is found with the first name. Available records (GRIN, CI/PI cards, variety files, etc.) here at Aberdeen are checked for conflicts with the proposed name. If a conflict is found (previous use of the name for that crop), the breeder is requested to submit a different name. If no conflicts are found, the requested name is forwarded to the Federal Seed Lab, Agricultural Marketing Service where the proposed name is checked against the databases they maintain. The Agricultural Marketing Service does not guarantee that its findings are the final word since there is no single, complete name database. This clearance procedure generally requires about four weeks. Trademark searches should be done by the breeder online at http://www.uspto.gov.

Elite germplasm requested

Breeders are encouraged to consider submitting their elite lines for inclusion in the National Small Grains Collection (NSGC). Of special interest are lines that have been in uniform nurseries, but are not to be released as cultivars. Historically, uniform nurseries have been the testing-grounds for the most advanced, elite germplasm from the various public and private breeding programs. Entries in uniform nurseries and other breeding materials that are never released as cultivars are still of potential value to breeders, pathologists, entomologists, and other researchers. Breeders should submit 200-500 g of untreated seed to the NSGC (address: P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210). Seed from outside of the United States should be sent to the USDA Plant Germplasm Quarantine Center (address: Bldg. 580, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705) with enclosed forwarding directions. Provide a description of the germplasm, including: donor (breeder, institution); botanical and common name; cultivar name and/or other identifiers (breeder line or selection number, etc.); pedigree; descriptive information (of important traits and special characteristics); and growth habit. Assignment of a PI number and inclusion in the NSGC makes the germplasm available for research purposes to bona fide scientists in the US and worldwide. Please note that a different procedure applies if you are obtaining Crop Science registration. Follow directions provided by the crop registration committee.

Guidelines for exporting seed

All seed sent to a foreign country should be inspected and receive a phytosanitary certificate. In most cases a fee payable to APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service) is required to cover the cost of the certificate. You may wish to work with APHIS personnel in your State or your State Department of Agriculture to obtain a phytosanitary certificate. Also, please be aware of any import permits and additional declarations that certain importing countries may require to accompany the shipment.

Guidelines for importing seed

Scientists importing seed should be aware of any restrictions that apply. USDA-APHIS personnel can provide current information on applicable restrictions. Oat scientists should be aware that Avena sterilis is classified as a Noxious Weed in the US and, thus, requires a permit from USDA-APHIS for receiving seed and grow-outs.

Return to Table of Content

Evaluation of National Small Grains Collection Germplasm

Progress Report - Oats

H.E. Bockelman and D.M. Wesenberg*

USDA-ARS National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility
P.O. Box 307, Aberdeen, ID 83210
e-mail: hbockelman@ars-grin.gov

Systematic evaluation of accessions in the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) is coordinated by the National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility (NSGGRF) staff at Aberdeen, Idaho. Descriptors appropriate for each of the principal small grains crop species - wheat, barley, oats, and rice - have been established in collaboration with the appropriate Crop Germplasm Committees. Field evaluation data are recorded on such descriptors as growth habit, number of days from planting to anthesis (heading), plant height, panicle density, lodging, straw breakage, shattering, and awn characteristics. Panicles are collected from each evaluation or nursery plot at maturity to facilitate detailed laboratory analysis for seed characters and for more precise determination of panicle descriptors than can be obtained under field conditions. Cooperative oat evaluations continued for reaction to crown rust and smut as well as beta-glucan, protein, and oil content.

Crown rust and smut evaluations are conducted at St. Paul, Minnesota under the direction of Dr. Howard W. Rines and colleagues at the University of Minnesota. Evaluations of oat accessions for beta-glucan, protein, and oil are conducted by Dr. David M. Peterson and staff at the USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit, Madison, Wisconsin. These important quality evaluations focus on a diversity of NSGC and other oat germplasm. Beta-glucan and protein data have been obtained for over 5000 NSGC oat accessions to date. In addition, oat entries grown in the Uniform Midseason Oat Nursery, the Uniform Early Oat Nursery, the Uniform Northwestern States Oat Nursery, and other cultivars or advanced lines grown in various trials at Aberdeen and Tetonia, Idaho since 1988 have been submitted for beta-glucan and protein evaluations. Evaluations of oil content have also been conducted in recent years.

Oat descriptors with data entered in the GRIN system are summarized below. No evaluations have been conducted to date for descriptors such as awn type, panicles per row, groat percent, winterhardiness, Helminthosporium avenae, leaf Septoria, stem Septoria, powdery mildew, and stem rust.

In related efforts, cooperative funding for the project entitled "Comprehensive Oat Improvement Through National Germplasm Enhancement" is established annually through Specific Cooperative Agreements or direct fund transfers in cooperation with the Oat Crop Germplasm Committee. Annual progress reports for this project are available in the CRIS system.

*The authors wish to acknowledge the important contributions of the NSGGRF staff in this effort, with special thanks to Glenda B. Rutger, Dave E. Burrup, Kay B. Calzada, Karla Reynolds, Charles A. Erickson, Santos Nieto, Kathy E. Burrup, Judy Bradley, and Carol S. Truman.



Descriptor Location No. Accessions
Awn Frequency Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 8377
Beta-Glucan Madison, WI & Aberdeen, ID 5382
Bundle Weight Aberdeen, ID 4064
BYDV Davis, CA 108
BYDV Urbana, IL 8551
Cereal Leaf Beetle Michigan, Indiana 7.68
Chromosome Number Columbia, MO 4410
Crown Rust (264A) Ames, IA 10391
Crown Rust (264B) Ames, IA 10397
Crown Rust (202) Ames, IA 1650
Crown Rust (Pc59) Ames, IA 1859
Crown Rust (Mult. A) Ames, IA 2082
Crown Rust (Mult. B) Ames, IA 2122
Crown Rust (Mult. C) Ames, IA 4237
Crown Rust (Mult. D) Ames, IA 1975
Crown Rust (Mult. E) St. Paul, MN 2590
Greenbug Stillwater, OK 4889
Growth Habit Aberdeen, ID 10856
Heading Date Aberdeen, ID 8380
Hull Cover Aberdeen, ID 6818
Kernels/Spike Aberdeen, ID 4510
Kernel Weight Aberdeen, ID 4811
Lemma Color Aberdeen, ID 8292
Oil/Lipids Urbana, IL 4448
Panicle Density Aberdeen, ID 8396
Panicle Length Aberdeen, ID 4512
Panicle Type Aberdeen, ID 8383
Plant Height Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 8280
Protein Madison, WI & Aberdeen, ID 5381
Red Oat Classification Aberdeen, ID 1115
Shattering Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 4194
Spikelets Per Panicle Aberdeen, ID 6341
Straw Breakage Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 6569
Straw Color Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 6623
Straw Lodging Aberdeen, ID; Mesa & Maricopa, AZ 8372
Smut St. Paul, MN 4233
Test Weight Aberdeen, ID 6504
Yield Aberdeen, ID 6527

updated April 2000

Return to Table of Content


Oat Production and Research in Minnesota

D.D. Stuthman1, H.W. Rines1,2, R.L. Phillips1, K.J. Leonard2,3, D.V. McVey2,3, and R. Dill-Macky3

1Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota
411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108;
2U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Research Service;
3Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota
e-mail: stuth001@tc.umn.edu

Minnesota Acreage and Production in Recent Years

The oat acreage harvested for grain in Minnesota in 1999 was estimated to be 300,000 acres, down about 3% from 1998. The estimated yield of 59 bushels was also down 4 bushels/acre from 1998, so the total production was down 9% from the previous year. Estimated planting for 2000 is 400,000 acres. The 1999 growing season was one of alternating extremes, first warm and dry in April, wet and cool in May, some excessive heat in part of June and some severe weather in late June. Our plot planting season stretched over a 6-week period and a late June storm caused everything on the St. Paul Campus to lodge at least somewhat. The last half of July had high temperatures and on one day a record heat index of 117. Thus far (mid-July), the 2000 growing season has been quite favorable.

Major Research Efforts

Our efforts to increase the level of slow rusting (rate-reducing resistance) while also improving the agronomic performance of resistant genotypes continue. Dr. Don McVey continues to provide invaluable efforts to identify the more resistant genotypes and we now routinely use the Quaker International Nursery and several South American cooperators as well as our New Zealand winter nursery to evaluate the race nonspecificity of the resistance that we are selecting. Our assumption continues to be that testing on a global basis wherever there is crown rust is the best indicator of durability short of a 10+ year evaluation.

Other Projects and Personnel

Cristine Handel, a Ph.D. student on the breeding project, from Porto Alegre, Brazil, was awarded the H.K. Hayes Award given annually to the most outstanding graduate student in the Agronomy and Plant Genetics Department. Her thesis research involves comparing isolines with high and low ratios of tertiary kernels to determine the affect of the tertiary kernels on panicle and especially spikelet/floret development; on agronomic performance, especially grain yield; and on milling yield. Our assumption is that kernel size uniformity increases milling yield and our hypothesis is that tertiary kernels reduce kernel size uniformity directly because they are smaller and indirectly because they caused a size reduction of secondary kernels relative to primaries when the tertiaries are part of the spikelet. They do, however, probably increase the sink size and thus may, under favorable growing conditions, result in higher grain yields.

Juan Diaz, from Uruguay, another Ph.D. student, was awarded a coveted University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the last year of his Ph.D. program. His thesis research involves assessing the effectiveness of recurrent selection to enhance slow rusting resistance in several recurrent selection populations. Earlier, Claudia Castell obtained preliminary results indicating successful selection. Juan is comparing 5 cycles of parents from our closed system and 3 cycles from the 3-way cross opened system for direct response of level of rust resistance and several agronomic traits for indirect selection response.

Marcelo Pacheco, also a Ph.D. student from Porto Alegre, is continuing the evaluation of recurrent selection for slow rusting and will compare parent selection in Minnesota and in Brazil. That comparison will begin to specifically address whether the resistance from the recurrent selection is race nonspecific and thus likely more durable.

Jessica Hess recently joined our group to pursue a Ph.D. in agroecology. She will be coadvised by Nick Jordan and will evaluate several ecological traits across the cycles of parents from the recurrent selection program. Initially she will investigate the colonization of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (VAMF) on oat roots.

Gang Chen, a visiting scholar from P.R. China, completed the research for his Ph.D. to be awarded from Zhejiang Agricultural University and has returned to China to defend his thesis. In his research he developed an RFLP molecular marker map from 158 F6-derived recombinant inbred lines from a cross between a previously identified slow-rusting line MN841801 and the cultivar Noble. Based on this map and tests of the lines for adult plant resistance, three QTLs for crown rust partial resistance were identified in field tests conducted over three environments. Two of these QTLs were also detected in two years of greenhouse tests. We have current efforts directed to confirming these QTLs from MN841801 in two additional crosses and in identifying PCR-based markers for the QTLs for use in marker-assisted selection.

Dr. Vladimir Portyanko, postdoctorate from Kiev, Ukraine, came to Minnesota last September following two years at Iowa State in the lab of Jim Holland and Michael Lee. Vlad's research here includes AFLP and other PCR-based marker analysis of the MN841801 x Noble population to test for possible additional QTLs for crown rust partial resistance and to find markers more tightly associated to the previously identified QTLs.

Mary Ann Start completed her M.S. degree in April with research focused on RFLP marker association to chromosome using an oat aneuploid series. Eight new linkage group to chromosome assignments were made, reducing the number of delineated linkage groups to 30 with nine remaining not assigned to chromosome. Aneuploids for chromosome 10 and portions or all of 3C and 20 are not available in our current aneuploid sets.

Return to Table of Content

Oat Rusts in the United States in 1999

K.J. Leonard, D.L. Long, M.E. Hughes, D.H. Casper, and G.E. Ochocki

Cereal Disease Laboratory, USDA-ARS, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108
e-mail: kurtl@cdl.umn.edu, davidl@cdl.umn.edu, markh@cdl.umn.edu, davidc@cdl.umn.edu, and jerryo@cdl.umn.edu

Oat stem rust

On March 15, 20% oat stem rust severities were found on volunteer plants growing around the edges of a non-cultivated field in south Texas. In 1998, in the same field, oat plants were destroyed by stem rust. No other oat stem rust was found on oat fields within the immediate area of these infections. By late April, oat stem rust had killed some of the cultivars growing in plots in a south Texas nursery. In mid-May, severe stem rust severities were reported on some lines in central Texas.

In early April, oat stem rust was found in southern Louisiana nurseries. By April 20 stem rust was the most severe in the Baton Rouge plots in the last 10 years and had killed 50% of the lines. During the last week in April, oat stem rust severities ranged from 1 to 20% in oat plots in central Louisiana and traces in southern Alabama. In general, oat stem rust development was less prevalent than 1998 in fields in the southern US. Oat acreage is minimal from Texas to southern South Dakota.

The next report of oat stem rust in the US was during late June when traces of rust were found in a commercial field in central Nebraska.

By mid-July, trace to 20% severities of oat stem rust were reported in plots and fields from south central Minnesota to central North Dakota. The 20% severities represented foci of oat stem rust in plots throughout the Northern Plains. In mid-July, traces of oat stem rust were reported in northeastern Montana plots and 60% severities in east central North Dakota plots. The widespread distribution of oat stem rust in the Northern Plains in 1999 was unexpected, because stem rust was less prevalent than normal on oat in the southern US, which is the source of inoculum for the northern states. In 1999, light losses to oat stem rust occurred in some fields in South Dakota (Table 1).

In 1999, the common pathotype NA27 was identified from 96% of the oat stem rust isolates made in the US (Table 2). A race (virulent to Pg1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 13), first identified in 1998 from a nursery collection in South Dakota, comprised 2% of the US population and was identified from collections made in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Table 1. Estimated losses in oat due to rust in 1999

State 1000 acres


Yield in


per acre


in 1000

of bushels

Losses due to
Stem Rust Crown Rust
Percent 1000


Percent 1000


AL 20 44.0 880 T T 3.0 27.2
AR 11 91.0 1,001 0 0.0 0.0 0.0
CA 30 85.0 2,550 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
CO 20 65.0 1,300 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
GA 25 55.0 1,375 0.0 0.0 1.0 13.9
IA 175 65.0 11,375 0.0 0.0 T T
ID 25 68.0 1,700 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
IL 60 71.0 4260 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
IN 25 65.0 1,625 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
KS 70 47.0 3,290 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
LA **NA NA NA 0.0 0.0 0.5 -
MI 75 65.0 4,875 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
MN 300 59.0 17,700 0.0 0.0 2.0 361.2
MO 22 46.0 1,012 0.0 0.0 T T
MT 70 49.0 3,430 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
NC 30 68.0 2,040 0.0 0.0 2.0 41.6
ND 340 53.0 18,020 0.0 0.0 5.0 948.2
NE 75 62.0 4,650 0.0 0.0 T T
NY 70 68.0 4,760 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
OH 100 70.0 7,000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
OK 30 43.0 1,290 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
OR 20 100.0 2,000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
PA 145 55.0 7,975 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
SC 35 52.0 1,820 0.0 0.0 1.0 18.4
SD 200 64.0 12,800 T T 3.0 395.9
TX 110 44.0 4,840 1.0 50.4 3.0 149.7
UT 9 75.0 675 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
WA 15 75.0 1,125 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
WI 300 62.0 18,600 0.0 0.0 1.0 187.9
WV 2 48.0 96 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
WY 29 63.0 1,827 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total  2,438 59.8 145,891 50.4 2,144.0
U.S. % Loss 0.03 1.4


2,465 60.0 147,906

*T = Trace
**NA = Not available, therefore, not included in loss totals.

Table 2. Races of Puccinia graminis f. sp. avenae identified from oat in 1999

State Source Number of Percentage of isolates of NA race1
collections isolates NA23 NA27 Other2
Alabama Nursery 2 1 100
Louisiana Field 1 1 100
Nursery 4 9 100
Minnesota Nursery 8 18 11 83 6
North Dakota Field 1 2 100
Nursery 5 10 20 80
A. fatua 1 2 100
South Dakota Field 8 24 100
Nursery 10 29 97 3
A. fatua 1 3 33 67
Texas Field 2 3 100
Nursery 48 121 100
US Field 12 30 7 93
Nursery 77 188 2 97 1
A. fatua 2 5 60 40
Total 91 223 3 96 2

1See Martens et al., Phytopathology 69, 293-294.
2A new race, virulent to Pg1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 (avirulent to Pg15, 16, and 10).

Oat crown rust

During mid-March, crown rust was severe in southern Texas plots and fields. Foci of sixty-percent severity were common on the most susceptible cultivars in nursery plots. In southern Texas oat fields, rust severities ranged from 1-20%; on average, rust development was equal to 1998.

In mid-April, crown rust was severe from central Texas through southern Louisiana to the panhandle of Florida. During mid-April, 30-50% crown rust severities were observed on susceptible oat plots in Baton Rouge, LA and Fairhope, AL. By late April, crown rust was severe in plots of susceptible cultivars and light in commercial fields in the southern US. These southern areas provided some inoculum for areas farther north.

In mid-May, 70-80% severities were observed on susceptible oat cultivars like Simpson growing in the Blackville, SC area (southwest SC). However, at Florence (east central) and Clemson (northwest) SC, no crown rust was found.

In mid-June, traces of oat crown rust were found in fields and plots in northern Kansas and northeastern Indiana.

By late April, pycnial infection was noted on buckthorn bushes in southeastern Minnesota and in the St. Paul buckthorn nursery. At St. Paul, most of the pycnia were found along the edge of the nursery, rather than where the oat telial straw was located. Therefore, the first pycnia observed may have been forms that infect grasses rather than oat. The pycnia development was later than normal this year in the St. Paul nursery. This suggests that the release of basidiospores peaked later this year, relative to the development of the buckthorn leaves which were 7-10 days behind last year.

Table 3. Frequency of virulence to specific Pc genes in oat among isolates of Puccinia coronata collected in 1999

Percentage of isolates virulent
Gene/Cultivar Texas Southeast Midwest MN Aecia
Pc14 91 93 81 98
Pc35 53 52 61 84
Pc36 61 39 69 85
Pc38 45 50 49 50
Pc39 54 43 60 70
Pc40 86 94 71 77
Pc45 1 0 0 2
Pc46 37 9 50 56
Pc48 8 2 14 12
Pc50 30 23 10 19
Pc51 61 53 51 70
Pc52 10 2 16 16
Pc53 2 0 0 1
Pc54 8 11 8 12
Pc56 71 60 69 85
Pc57 57 63 35 61
Pc58 9 21 6 17
Pc59 56 59 36 68
Pc60 80 91 66 70
Pc61 74 81 59 62
Pc62 4 0 4 5
Pc63 28 30 34 37
Pc64 10 2 9 7
Pc67 37 57 21 37
Pc68 0 0 0 0
Pc70 51 45 66 67
Pc71 51 35 65 68
H548 3 2 4 4
Dane 43 26 38 54
WI X4361-9 60 51 46 69
TAM-O-386R 23 38 30 45
TAM-O-393 3 2 0 20
IA B604Xsel 1 0 0 1
Vista 6 0 3 4
No. isolates 93 47 80 138


By the fourth week of May, there was abundant crown rust infection on buckthorn at St. Paul, but no uredinia were found on oat in the buckthorn nursery. The first pycnia appeared on the buckthorn in mid- to late April, but the main flush of new pycnia did not appear in the buckthorn nursery at St. Paul until the second week of May. Most of the new infections had few aeciospores. Cool weather delayed development of aecia. Scattered pustules of crown rust were found on oat in the buckthorn nursery at St. Paul on June 4. This was four weeks later than 1998, but close to normal for most years. By mid-June, oat in the buckthorn nursery in St. Paul, MN, had moderate crown rust infection on lower leaves, but little or no rust had appeared on the upper leaves. In late June, 60% severities were observed in oat plots in south central Minnesota, while in fields 1-5% severities were found on the lower leaves. During mid-July, crown rust severities ranged from 0-20% in oat fields and trace to 60% on flag leaves in plots in west central Minnesota.

In early May, heavy infections of pycnia and some early stages of aecia were observed on buckthorns at Brookings, SD. By the fourth week in May, buckthorns in east central South Dakota were severely infected with crown rust. In late May, aeciospores were released from crown rust-infected buckthorn bushes growing in Fargo, ND. The infections were moderate and most likely from other grasses as there is no oat in the area. By late June, crown rust had developed very slowly at the Brookings, SD nursery and trace to 20% severities were observed on lower leaves of susceptible cultivars at the early milk growth stage. During mid-July, crown rust severities ranged from 0-20% in oat fields and trace to 60% on flag leaves in plots in northeastern South Dakota. On wild oat (Avena fatua), rust severities ranged from trace to 20% severity throughout eastern South Dakota.

In mid-July, traces of crown rust were observed in the nursery at Fargo, ND. By late July, 40% severities were observed in plots and 5% in fields in northern North Dakota.

This year, throughout the upper Midwest, crown rust was lighter than normal and covered a smaller area because of the cooler than normal weather in the spring, which decreased the number of infections from buckthorn, the alternate host of oat crown rust. In 1999, some losses to crown rust occurred in the northern oat-growing area (Table 1). Losses in Minnesota and South Dakota to crown rust were down from 1998, but the loss in North Dakota was higher.

Frequencies of virulence to oat crown rust differential lines with individual Pc genes in 1999 (Table 3) were generally similar to those of recent years. No virulence to Pc68 was found from any region of the US in 1999. Virulence to Pc45 was not found in the Midwest or Southeast, and only one isolate with virulence to Pc45 was found in Texas in 1999. In 1997-1998, virulence to Pc45 ranged from 8-14% in the Southeast and Texas, but only 3-4% in the Midwest. Virulence to Pc58 was lower in Texas but higher in the Southeast in 1999 than in 1997 or 1998. Although virulence to TAM-O-393 remains rare among uredinial collections in Texas, the Southeast, and the Midwest, 20% of the aecial isolates from buckthorn in St. Paul, MN were virulent to TAM-O-393. Virulence to the cultivar Vista was found at low frequencies in Texas and the Midwest. Resistance of the Iowa line H548 is still effective against nearly all crown rust isolates, as is the resistance of the Cereal Disease Lab selection from Iowa line B604X.

Totals of 71, 60, and 29 races of crown rust were identified from Texas, the Midwest, and the Southeast in 1999 based on the new North American set of 16 differentials (Chong et al. 2000). LB-- and LQ-- races were frequent in all three regions of the US (Table 4). Race LBCG was found both in Texas and the Southeast. In both race frequency and virulence frequency, the oat crown rust population of the Southeast appeared intermediate between those of Texas and the Midwest.


Chong, J., Leonard, K.J., and Salmeron, J.J. 2000. A North American system of nomenclature for Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae. Plant Dis. 84, 580-585.

Table 4. Oat crown rust races in the United States, 1999

No. isolates No. races Common No. isolates Race Isolates
Set Pc gene
1 40,45,46,50
2 38,39,48,68
3 51,52,58,59
4 54,56,62,64

Return to Table of Content


Oat Quality Survey - 1999

Douglas C. Doehlert1 and Michael S. McMullen 2

1USDA, ARS Wheat Quality Laboratory, Harris Hall, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105, USA, e-mail: doehlert@plains.nodak.edu
2Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105 USA, e-mail: mmcmulle@plains.nodak.edu

This report was originally constructed to provide quality information for the North Dakota oat breeding project and is being distributed because of a general interest among oat workers in the composition and quality characteristics of current oat cultivars being grown and sold for milling purposes. We have produced this North Dakota Oat Quality Survey to provide detailed groat composition and quality information on a wide selection of modern oat cultivars, albeit from a limited sampling. Data presented here for 1999 are from a single sampling grown at Fargo, ND in 1999. We acknowledge that characteristics such as yield, test weight, and groat percentage are strongly affected by environment and exhibit strong genotype by environment interactions. Although groat composition is also affected by environment, we have found that the ranking of genotypes for any compositional component is usually very consistent among many environments. Thus, the relative groat composition of oat genotypes, as presented here, may be useful to individuals seeking an oat with a particular combination of compositional characteristics. This information is for reference only and should not be cited in any scientific work.

Materials and methods

Twenty-seven oat cultivars were grown in replicated plots in Fargo, ND in 1998. Yield and test weight values were derived from the mean of three replicates at this location. Quality data is from a single replicate.

Dehulling information reported here is derived from new procedures developed in the past year. Initially, a 50 g sample was dehulled on a Codema (Eden Prairie, MN) laboratory oat huller. Groats derived from the dehuller were subjected to a secondary aspiration by a Bates Laboratory Aspirator (Seedboro Equipment Co., Chicago, IL.) to remove hulls remaining in the groat preparation. After secondary aspiration, groat samples were hand-sorted to remove the undehulled oats. The mass of the undehulled oats was subtracted from the mass of the original oat sample to generate an adjusted oat mass, and the groat percentage was calculated as the ratio of the cleaned groat mass to the adjusted oat mass, multiplied by 100.

Whole oat and groat weights were derived from the number of kernels in a 10 g sample (as determined by an automatic seed counter). Protein was determined by combustion analysis with a Leco Nitrogen Analyzer. Oil was determined by NMR, standardized with purified oat oil. -glucan was determined by the method of McCleary and Glennie-Holmes (1985). Oat hull color was evaluated by visual examination. Digital image analysis was performed as described by Doehlert et al. (1999).

Table 1. Hull color, grain yield, test weights, groat percentages and groat composition of oat cultivars grown in Fargo, ND 1999

Genotype Hull
Groat composition
% dry basis
Protein Oil -glucan
AC Assiniboia Red 106 35.4 69.7 34.9 26.1 19.9 6.85 6.5
AC Medallion Ivory 95 34.3 64.1 25.4 18.1 20.2 6.59 5.55
AC Preakness White 83 34.1 69.3 27.0 20.8 16.8 7.06 4.56
Belle Yellow 115 36.2 70.9 28.2 20.1 16.7 7.54 5.60
Blaze Ivory 126 37.4 69.3 21.1 20.7 19.3 6.92 4.92
Brawn Yellow 132 36.1 70.4 36.4 27.5 17.6 6.85 4.35
CDC Boyer Ivory 94 32.7 66.3 32.4 22.1 19.6 5.88 5.08
CDC Pacer White 76 26.6 53.2 25.5 16.0 17.6 6.61 5.07
Chaps Yellow 148 36.9 70.1 28.0 21.3 17.9 5.57 5.26
EBELTOFT White 132 35.2 69.9 30.1 23.4 19.3 6.12 5.12
Gem Yellow 141 38.8 70.1 33.5 24.3 20.1 5.48 5.27
Hytest White 98 40.0 73.9 30.5 22.3 19.2 6.07 4.79
Jerry White 138 40.3 71.3 29.2 21.1 18.6 6.07 4.58
Jud Ivory 145 37.4 70.8 27.8 21.3 19.6 7.51 5.28
Marion White 112 35.5 67.4 28.4 21.9 17.3 7.37 6.06
Milton Yellow 129 37.4 70.1 25.9 20.3 19.1 7.44 4.79
Monida Ivory 110 29.7 52.3 25.1 13.3 17.7 6.65 5.55
Newdak Ivory 125 39.2 67.8 26.7 19.3 16.8 6.33 4.30
Otana White 95 31.0 59.5 22.6 14.7 17.8 6.37 5.71
Paul Naked 99 44.2 94.7 20.7 20.2 19.0 8.57 5.54
Prairie White 125 34.4 68.6 27.3 20.9 17.0 5.70 4.96
Riser Yellow 119 38.9 70.4 29.4 21.2 21.0 8.40 5.09
Rodeo Yellow 143 37.0 69.9 27.7 19.6 17.5 6.48 5.56
Tri. crown White 81 31.2 63.7 28.2 19.2 18.7 5.82 5.66
Troy Ivory 111 33.2 64.7 21.7 15.8 18.1 6.69 5.17
Whitestone Ivory 132 35.0 61.3 25.5 17.6 17.3 6.77 4.84
Youngs Ivory 132 34.5 64.1 32.5 22.8 20.7 5.94 7.36

Table 2. Whole oat kernel size information on oat cultivars grown at Fargo, ND in 1999, as derived by digital image analysis

Genotype Kernel
(area CV*)
AC Assiniboia 32.1 1.46 22.0 10.72 2.61 30.7
AC Medallion 25.9 1.38 18.8 10 2.35 24.9
AC Preakness 24.5 1.29 19.0 9.89 2.45 26.3
Belle 26.5 1.97 13.4 8.89 1.91 30.1
Blaze 26.6 1.71 15.6 8.96 2.20 30.3
Brawn 37.1 1.89 19.7 8.65 2.74 17.6
CDC Boyer 29.2 1.69 17.3 10.39 2.10 33.1
CDC Pacer 23.9 1.54 15.6 10.09 1.92 30.6
Chaps 29.0 1.80 16.1 9.55 2.10 29.2
Ebeltoft 30.7 1.82 16.9 9.27 2.23 30.8
Gem 32.2 1.44 22.4 10.24 2.79 27.2
Hytest 29.4 1.84 16.0 8.56 2.32 29.8
Jerry 28.2 2.04 13.8 7.92 2.17 28.8
Jud 27.0 1.67 16.2 9.63 2.14 32.4
Marion 27.4 1.34 20.5 11.10 2.36 26.3
Milton 26.6 1.86 14.3 8.82 2.04 32.2
Monida 24.6 1.18 20.9 10.46 2.55 27.8
Newdak 25.3 1.77 14.3 8.78 2.07 30.7
Otana 24.3 1.15 21.2 10.5 2.60 23.6
Paul 19.7 1.57 12.6 7.68 1.92 32.1
Prairie 26.1 1.69 15.4 9.44 2.05 31.8
Riser 28.9 1.43 20.2 10.02 2.48 28.0
Rodeo 27.4 1.66 16.5 9.31 2.23 30.2
Tri. crown 26.1 1.26 20.7 10.89 2.43 24.2
Troy 21.3 1.66 12.9 8.35 1.94 33.3
Whitestone 25.5 1.73 14.7 8.84 2.08 28.6
Youngs 29.4 1.36 21.7 10.89 2.51 31.8

*CV; coefficient of variation.

Results and discussion

Grain yields, test weights, hull colours, groat percentages, mean oat and groat masses and groat composition of 27 oat cultivars grown in Fargo, ND are listed in Table 1. The nursery was heavily affected by Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) infection, so cultivars with better BYDV resistance performed better this year. Of particular interest is the number of unusually high -glucan values. Many cultivars, in particular AC Assiniboia, contained unusually high -glucan concentrations relative to their rankings in previous survey years. We have hypothesized that the -glucan concentrations in the groats may have been influenced by the BYDV infections. We are currently testing this hypothesis in greenhouse studies.

This year we introduced new protocols for the measurement of groat percentage. Our previous work had suggested that groat percentages based on the crude groat preparation derived from the Codema oat huller tended to overestimate groat percentage because of hulls remaining in the groat preparation (Doehlert et al. 1999). This year we used a secondary aspiration system to gently remove hulls from the groat preparation. We also removed undehulled oats from the groat sample and subtracted their mass from the mass of the original oat sample, thereby mimicking industrial oat milling and eliminating any effect of these undehulled oats on the groat percentage value.

Oat size and uniformity information for these 27 cultivars as determined by digital image analysis is presented in Table 2. Kernel mass as determined by DIA is similar, although not identical, to oat kernel mass as determined by thousand kernel mass shown in Table 1. Differences are attributed to sampling error. Kernel densities are correlated (correlations not shown) with both test weight and groat percentage although test weight was more highly correlated with groat percentage. Kernel density was designed to evaluate oat test weight, without a confounding packing factor. Its failure to more accurately predict groat percentage suggests that it is not as useful as test weight for this purpose. Correlation analysis (not shown) also indicated that kernel length was negatively correlated with test weight. This is consistent with our recent study (Doehlert et al. 1999), and with many other studies that indicate that longer kernels do not pack as well into a given space.

Previous editions of the oat quality survey are available on the North Dakota State University Agriculture College Small Grain Web Page (1997 Oat Quality Survey, 1998 Oat Quality Survey), or can be obtained by correspondence with the authors.


Doehlert, D.C., McMullen, M.S., and Baumann, R.R. 1999. Factors affecting groat percentage in oat. Crop Sci. 39, 1858-1865.

McCleary, B.V. and Glennie-Holmes, M. 1985. Enzymatic quantification of (1®3), (1®4)-b-D-glucan in barley and malt. J. Inst. Brew. 99, 285-295.

Return to Table of Content

Oat Production, Breeding, and Research in North Dakota

Michael S. McMullen and Douglas C. Doehlert

Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, and USDA-ARS Fargo, ND 58105
e-mail: mmcmulle@plains.nodak.edu, doehlert@plains.nodak.edu


According to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, North Dakota produced 16.8 million bushels of oats in 1999 from 330,000 harvested acres. Approximately 650,000 acres were planted and most of the acres not harvested for grain were harvested as forage. These figures represent the lowest oat grain production since 1988 and the fewest acres harvested since 1885. The average grain yield was 51 bushels per acre that is slightly less than the five-year average. Planting was delayed in many areas of the state due to excess spring rainfall. Unusually warm humid nights during July were not conducive to optimum grain fill and restricted grain yield.


ND900697 was released as 'Youngs' and ND910916 was released as 'Ebeltoft' in June of 1999. Descriptions of Youngs and Ebeltoft are included in the Cultivars section. ND930122 (IL81-2570/ND864128) was increased for release in 2000. ND930122 has been tested in the Uniform Midseason Oat Performance Nursery (UMOPN) since 1997 and has been tested in variety trials at nine locations in North Dakota since 1997. During this time ND930122 has produced higher grain yield than any other genotype in the North Dakota trials and is considerably earlier in heading than other high yielding cultivars. ND9508252 (Amagalon/ND820712//ND852107/3/ND900118) was evaluated in UMOPN and North Dakota oat variety trials in 1999. ND9508252 has Pc91 derived from Amagalon plus other unknown genes that confer crown rust resistance. It is heterogeneous for resistance to stem rust race NA67. This resistance is conferred by a factor that was likely derived from Avena longiglumis via Amagalon. In addition, ND9508252 produces higher groat -glucan content (approximately 70 g kg-1) than any cultivar available in North Dakota.

Stem Rust

We observed susceptible stem rust pustules on lines with Pg13 in both 1998 and 1999 indicating the presence of stem rust race NA67. 'Paul' possesses the pg-a complex and is resistant to NA67. 'Jud' appears to be heterogeneous for resistance to NA67 and is heterogeneous for the pg-a complex. Many breeding lines were evaluated for reaction to NA67 is seedling tests and several lines derived from Amagalon expressed a high level of seedling resistance. Some of these Amagalon-derived stem rust resistant lines are in advanced stages of testing and have been used extensively in crosses. Most of these lines have both Pc91 and stem rust resistance derived from Amagalon.

Crown Rust

Diego Vilaro completed his M.S. degree while studying the transmission of Pc91 in segregating populations. He found that Pc91 was transmitted through both male and female gametes at a lower than expected frequency to the progeny of heterozygous individuals. A higher than expected level of heterozygosity was maintained after selfing resistant F2 plants derived from F1 and BC1F1 plants heterozygous for Pc91. His work suggested development of stable true-breeding lines homozygous for Pc91 may require additional generations of selfing and selection beyond that usually employed in a breeding program.

Oat Quality

The oat quality research program completed studies on factors affecting groat percentage in oats (Doehlert et al. 1999) and on genotypic and environmental effects on oat milling characteristics and groat hardness (Doehlert and McMullen 2000). An additional project on the application of oat oil to bread making is in the final stages of preparation (Erazo, Doehlert and D'Appolonia, manuscript in preparation). Ongoing research projects include the optimization of experimental oat dehulling protocols and the development of more efficient methods for the evaluation of oat kernels size uniformity. Optimization of dehulling protocols has identified the aspiration of free hulls as a critical step. Many aspiration mechanisms, including the aspiration system on the Codema oat huller, either do not remove hulls efficiently, or remove many groats along with the hulls. We have identified several aspiration systems that efficiently remove oat hulls without removing groats and can be used effectively with the Codema system as a secondary aspiration mechanism to more accurately evaluate groat percentage of an oat sample. For the evaluation of oat kernel size uniformity, we are testing 10 genotypes grown in three different environments using digital image analysis and sieving information to provide information on the effects of genotype, environment, and crown rust infection on oat kernel size uniformity.


Doehlert, D.C. and McMullen, M.S. 2000. Genotypic and environmental effects on oat milling characteristics and groat hardness. Cereal Chem. 77, 148-154.

Doehlert, D.C., McMullen, M.S., and Baumann, R.R. 1999. Factors affecting groat percentage in oat. Crop Sci. 39, 1858-1865.

Return to Table of Content


Oat Research in South Dakota

D.L. Reeves

Plant Science Department
South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007
e-mail: dale_reeves@sdstate.edu

Phosphorous (P) rates and placement were studied by Austin Magnuson (MS) on long-term no-till conditions. On soils low in P oat yields increased 8 bu/a with 80 lb/a P. Banded placement with the seed showed a 3 bu/a increase over broadcasting. Test weight increased 0.8 lb/bu when 80 lb/a P was applied. Adding P increased height an average of 5 cm. Soybean following the oat gained 6 bu/a and increased 7 cm in height with 80 lb/a P. There was no difference in effect on soybean for P whether residual or applied with planting. Banded P increased yield 1.4 bu/a over broadcast. Inheritance of glume length using eight lines was studied by Mei Shen (MS) for the ultimate question whether large glumes would increase grain fill. The F2 progeny distribution suggests glume length is governed by multiple loci with dosage effects. Chi-square tests indicated glume length distribution in the F2 did not fit an additive model for one, two, or three genes. The only parent showing some differences in reciprocal crosses was the long glumed CI1026.

John Golden (MS) crossed in a diallel seven parents varying in groat oil from 13% (IA line) to 4% (Exeter and MN71202). Most reciprocal crosses were significantly different when the high oil line was a parent. Other parents used were Dal, Moore, Noble, and Settler. The lack of strong correlations between oil content and kernel width/length ratio indicates it should be possible to simultaneously select for larger seed and high oil.

Dawn Gustafson (PhD) is working on a crown rust study to determine if defeated genes still have some effect on resistance. This is a cooperative study with Yue Jin. The lines being tested are from crosses involving eight genes. The F1's were inoculated in fall 1999 and the F2's will be tested in the field and greenhouse in 2000.

Lon Hall, the project's research technician, continues his work with hulless oats. He has a line being increased for possible release in 2000. The best hulless lines are equal to the better hulled lines for groat weight per acre.

Herbicide and fungicide trials showed no significant responses in 1999 under low disease intensity.

Return to Table of Content



J.W. Mitchell Fetch, P.D. Brown, J. Chong, S.D. Duguid, D.E. Harder, S.M. Haber, J. Menzies, and J.S. Noll

Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, 195 Dafoe Road,
Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2M9
Phone: (204) 983-1460/(204) 983-4604
e-mail: jfetch@em.agr.ca

AC Pinnacle is a white-hulled F6-derived line developed using the pedigree method. The cross was made in 1991 at the Cereal Research Centre, Winnipeg, MB. This cross included the parents Harmon HAM, D × 7, OT207, Tabor, RL3060, Cascade, and AC Medallion. It was tested under the experimental designations of W95540 and OT292.

AC Pinnacle has excellent yield, outperforming the checks, AC Medallion and CDC Pacer, and other experimental lines for the two years (1997 and 1998) it was tested in the Western Cooperative Trial. AC Pinnacle performs very well for yield in the black soil zone of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It also can yield well in the brown soil zone of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Because of its resistance to most of the prevalent races of crown and stem rust, it can be grown in areas where rust poses a problem. AC Pinnacle possesses the crown rust resistance combination, Pc38, Pc39, and Pc68. Pc68 is resistant to the prevalent crown rust races of the Canadian prairies. AC Pinnacle has moderate resistance to BYDV (which is the best presently available), good resistance to the prevalent races of oat stem rust, and good resistance to smut.

AC Pinnacle matures later, by up to three or four days, than the checks, AC Medallion and CDC Pacer. It is similar in height to both AC Medallion and CDC Pacer. It has improved lodging resistance over that of AC Medallion, but slightly lower than that of CDC Pacer. It has a similar test weight (48.8 kg/hl) and thousand kernel weight (36.3 mg/kernel) to that of the checks. It has higher percent plump (74.3%) and lower percent thin kernels (1.75%) than AC Medallion and CDC Pacer, but similar hull percent (23.6%). Its milling yield (75.2%) was slightly higher than the checks in 1997. The protein content (12.3%) was higher than that of the checks. The oil content (6.5%) is similar to that of the checks.

Return to Table of Content


E.S. Denisova, G.A. Batalova, L.N. Ephremidi, N.S. Solovjova, N.A. Lobanova, A.I. Kalinin

Head of Department of Breeding and Primary Seed Production
North - East Agricultural Research Institute named after N. V. Rudnitskij
610007, Lenin Street, Kirov, 166-a, Tel. (8332) 67-48-29

The cultivar of spring oat Argamak is developed on the Falenki Breeding Station of North - East Agricultural Research Institute.

Argamak belongs to the species Avena sativa L., the botanical variety - "mutika", white grain, awnless, but per separate years up to 15% of spikes can have tender light-painted awns. Argamak is a variety of an intensive type, plastic, universal assigning. The grain yield achieves 9 tons per hectare. The variety is mid-ripening, matures for 76-90 days and it has good lodging resistance. It is tolerant to soil acidity and drought, and has shedding resistance too.

The grains have semi-prolate form, densely is made in palea, and adjusted. The weight of 1000 kernels is 32-35 g; paleaceousness is 24-25% and test weight is 490 g. Argamak has high alimentary qualities. An assessment of taste and colour of porridge is 5 score. The grain protein content is 14.6%, groats quantity is 65-73%.

Since 1996-1997 Argamak is brought into the State Reestr (List of release cultivars) on North, North-West, Central, and Volgo-Vjatka regions. For the term of an assessment in State Variety Trial for the Kirov region, Argamak has exceeded variety Ulov (local standard) in yield by 0.2 tons per hectare, averaging 4.5 tons per hectare. On Russian Federation the average productivity in 123 experiences of 1997 has made 3.8 tons per hectare at high field stability to Ustilago avenae and Puccinia coronata. On Gornomarijskij Variety Trial Field of Republic Marij El the yield of a grain per hectare has made 8.3 tons, on Mozhchinskij Variety Trial Field in Udmurtiya - 6.4 tons. Five tons of grains per hectare were obtained in conditions of a drought of 1998 on Falenki Breeding Station. In KPH "Oktjabrskoe" in Kumeny area of the Kirov region at sowing on winter rye in 1997 had 5.3 tons per hectare.

Return to Table of Content


Michael S. McMullen and Douglas C. Doehlert

Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University and USDA-ARS, Fargo, ND 58105
e-mail: mmcmulle@plains.nodak.edu, doehlert@plains.nodak.edu

'Ebeltoft' spring oat was developed cooperatively by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-ARS and was released in June 1999. The pedigree of Ebeltoft is NZ C9,01/ND863443. NZ C9,01 is a germplasm line provided by Keith Armstrong from the New Zealand program and ND863443 was developed with the pedigree W80-20/'Porter'. W80-20 is a breeding line from the Winnipeg program that contributed the stem rust resistance gene pg13 and possessed the crown rust resistance genes Pc55 and Pc56. The final cross was made in the fall greenhouse season in 1988. The line that became Ebeltoft was derived as an F4:5 and was designated ND910916 during development and testing. Breeder seed was produced by bulking seed produced in an increase plot grown in 1996 that was rogued of plants atypical of the ND910916 phenotype.

Based on three years of evaluation at nine locations in North Dakota variety trials, Ebeltoft had higher average grain yield than any named cultivar in North Dakota and produced test weights similar to 'Troy'. Ebeltoft is late maturing and flowers approximately 6 days later than 'Jerry'. Because of its late maturity, Ebeltoft is best adapted to northern oat growing areas. Ebeltoft is considered medium height and is approximately 4 cm shorter than Jerry under North Dakota conditions. Under North Dakota conditions Ebeltoft exhibits slightly better lodging resistance than Jerry.

Ebeltoft produces large kernels with ivory colored hulls. Its groat percentage is similar to Jerry even though the test weight of Ebeltoft is not as high as Jerry. The whole oat protein concentration of Ebeltoft is lower than Jerry. The groat lipid concentration of Ebeltoft is similar to Jerry, which is considered to have low groat lipid concentration relative to other cultivars grown in North Dakota.

Ebeltoft exhibited moderate resistance to the crown rust races present in North Dakota during its evaluation and moderate tolerance to barley yellow dwarf virus. Ebeltoft is protected from the prevalent races of stem rust by resistance conferred by pg13, but Ebeltoft is susceptible to stem rust race NA67.

The name Ebeltoft was chosen to recognize the contributions of Dr. David Ebeltoft to North Dakota agriculture. Dr. Ebeltoft worked in oat breeding during the 1960's and developed 'Dawn' and 'Wyndmere' spring oats. He later became the Director of the North Dakota State University Foundation Seed Stocks Project. Ebeltoft will be protected under the US Plant Variety Protection Act without the Title V option.

Return to Table of Content


D.D. Stuthman, R.A. Caspers, D.V. McVey, R. Dill-Macky, and H.W. Rines

1Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota
411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108;
2U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Research Service;
3Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota
e-mail: stuth001@tc.umn.edu

Richard is a new high yielding, early-midseason oat released from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. It was tested as MN94112 and developed from a cross between Newdak and MN86209. It was first tested in multiple Minnesota locations in 1995 and has been in the UEOPN in 1998-2000. Richard is early in maturity, yet high yielding; is tall but yet quite lodging resistant; and has a good composite disease reaction for crown rust, smut, and BYDV. Groat percentage and test weight are at least average. Richard is well adapted to Minnesota and should be useful in surrounding states as well. Richard was named after Richard Halstead, a very dedicated USDA-ARS oat researcher at the University of Minnesota for more than 25 years.

Return to Table of Content


Michael S. McMullen and Douglas C. Doehlert

Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University and USDA-ARS, Fargo, ND 58105
e-mail: mmcmulle@plains.nodak.edu, doehlert@plains.nodak.edu

'Youngs' spring oat was developed cooperatively by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-ARS and was released in June 1999. The pedigree of Youngs is ND863443/ND852163. ND863443 was developed with the pedigree W80-20/'Porter'. W80-20 is a breeding line from the Winnipeg Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada program that possessed the stem rust resistance gene pg13 and crown rust resistance genes Pc55 and Pc56. ND852163 was developed with the pedigree W80-20/ND811724. ND811724 was developed with the pedigree CA6/Hudson//Dal. CA6 is a line from the Minnesota recurrent selection for grain yield program received from Deon Stuthman. Youngs was derived from an F4:5 line and designated ND900697 during development and testing. Breeder seed was produced by bulking seed produced in an increase plot grown in 1996 that was rogued of plants that were atypical of the ND900697 phenotype.

Based on four years of evaluation at nine locations in North Dakota variety trials, Youngs had higher average grain yield than any named cultivar in North Dakota and produced test weights similar to 'Troy'. Youngs is late maturing with heading dates approximately 5.5 days later than 'Jerry'. Because of its late maturity, Youngs is best adapted to northern oat growing areas. Youngs is a tall cultivar, approximately 10 cm taller than Jerry, but exhibits good lodging resistance relative to its height.

In North Dakota trials Youngs produced large white kernels with a groat percentage slightly higher than Jerry even though the test weight of Youngs was not as high as Jerry. The whole oat protein concentration of Youngs was similar to Jerry that is considered medium relative to other cultivars grown in North Dakota. The groat lipid concentration of Youngs is similar to Jerry, which is considered to have low groat lipid concentration relative to other cultivars grown in North Dakota. Youngs had higher groat -glucan concentration than any other cultivar adapted to North Dakota.

Youngs was tested in the 1995-1996 Uniform Midseason Oat Performance Nursery and produced a higher mean grain yield for those two years than any other entry. It has moderate crown rust resistance and moderate tolerance to barley yellow dwarf virus. Youngs is protected from the prevalent races of stem rust by resistance conferred by pg13, but is susceptible to race NA67.

The name Youngs was chosen to recognize the contributions of Dr. Vernon Youngs to oat quality improvement. Dr. Youngs was the first director of the USDA Oat Quality Laboratory at Madison, WI and later became the director of the USDA Wheat Quality Laboratory in Fargo, ND. Youngs will be protected under the US Plant Variety Protection Act without the Title V option.

Return to Table of Content