Biotech Updates

UK University to Develop Improved Oat Varieties

July 23, 2010

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom has been granted a £4.9 M grant to develop improved varieties of oats. The five-year project grant involving the Research Council, Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government and the ScoQuality Oats (QUOATS), and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences British Government, is expected to enhance consumers' health benefits.

"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.

The study involves 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.

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