Evaluation of National Small Grains Collection Germplasm Progress Report - Oats
D.M. Wesenberg and H.E. Bockelman*
National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility
Systematic evaluation of accessions in the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection (NSGC) is coordinated by National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility (NSGGRF) staff at Aberdeen, Idaho. Descriptors appropriate for each of the pri ncipal 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 an d 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 b y 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 5,000 NS GC 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 Teto nia, 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 Septor ia, stem Septoria, powdery mildew, and stem rust.

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 7684
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 3554
Heading Date Aberdeen, ID 8382
Hull Cover Aberdeen, ID 6553
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

Nearly 1,000 oat selections developed by the Coker Pedigreed Seed Company and donated to ARS by the Northrup King Company were first evaluated in nonreplicated single-row plots at Aberdeen in 1991. These and other early generation selecti ons from the Coker Pedigreed Seed Company were widely distributed to oat researchers, especially in the southern United States, by the ARS staff at Aberdeen in the early 1990s. Over 200 selections identified as superior in agronomic performance or for ot her characteristics by Howard Harrison and ARS staff at Aberdeen are currently being grown under irrigation at Aberdeen for seed increase and further evaluation in anticipation of being assigned PI numbers and included in the NSGC later this year.

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, Charles A. Erickson, Santos Nieto, Kathy E. Burrup, Judy Bradley, a nd Carol S. Truman.

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