Biotech Updates

UK Scientists Conduct Oats Study

May 7, 2010

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom has been given a £4.9 M to develop improved varieties of oats. The five- year project is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government.

"Oats are a valuable break crop in cereal rotations reducing disease and weed problems, require less fertilizer than wheat, perform well in marginal areas and are a high value animal feed which can be grown and fed on-farm," said Dr Athole Marshall, head of the Oat Breeding Programme at IBERS. "We are successfully combining fundamental research on plant genetics with plant breeding techniques to develop commercially viable plant varieties that help meet the challenges of food, water and energy security, and environmental sustainability."

Marshall added that the most recent genomics technologies will be used to study traits. "Combining expertise in molecular and conventional plant breeding and analysis of grain composition with evaluation of new and novel varieties by research and industrial partners will ensure that new oat varieties meet the requirements of the different end users," he said.

See the press release from Aberystwyth University at