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Crop Biotech Update

Oat Genome Now on ARS Website

July 22, 2020

Scientists from PepsiCo and Corteva Agriscience have sequenced the full genome of oat and have made it available for use in open-source applications. The oat genome data is available on the GrainGenes website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). GrainGenes is a repository for curated, peer-reviewed datasets for researchers working on wheat, barley, rye, and oat.

Jose Costa, ARS national program leader for crop production and protection said decoding the oat's complex genome is critical for identifying genes that are essential for breeding for pest resistance, higher quality, better adaptation, and higher grain yields. At 12 billion DNA building blocks, the oat genome is four times larger than that of humans.

"The challenge for breeders and geneticists is to preserve and enhance the most valuable traits of this important crop," said Jack Okamuro, ARS NPL for crop production and protection. He added that access to the high-quality oat genome sequence is key to developing more nutritious, higher yielding, and disease resistant oat varieties for future generations of consumers and producers.

For more details, read the ARS research news.

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