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Trends in Conservation and Utilization of Oat Genetic Resources

Julius K ühn Institut Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants. Trends in Conservation and Utilization of Oat Genetic Resources. Axel Diederichsen 1 and Christoph U. Germeier 2 1 Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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Trends in Conservation and Utilization of Oat Genetic Resources

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  1. Julius Kühn Institut Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants Trends in Conservation and Utilization of Oat Genetic Resources Axel Diederichsen1 and Christoph U. Germeier2 1 Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada 2 Julius Kühn Institute, Quedlinburg, Germany

  2. Oat harvested in the world since 1945(Sources: Coffman 1961 and FAO 2008) • In the late 18th and early 20th century oat occupied in many northern • countries more land than any other cereal • - Since 1945/49 a reduction by 80% • Lesser decline in Nordic countries and Canada • Oat breeding programmes are ceasing in Europe and North America

  3. Are there new opportunities for oats? • Health food for human nutrition • Low-input crop regarding fertilizer and pesticides • Oat seed oil as bio-fuel? • Diversification of crop rotation • Race horses and their specific nutrition requirements

  4. Opposing conclusions so far • Oat diversity was of relevance in the past but there is no need or economic justification to preserve it for the future • Oat diversity deserves increased attention because it is about to disappear and the options for future developments of oat need to be kept open

  5. The oat gene-pool • Oat breeding has been mostly active in northern, industrialized countries and historically also in Australia and New Zealand. Important oat genebanks in Canada, USA, Russia, Germany, Sweden • Hull-les oat has been of relevance in China and the largest collections for this germplasm exist there • Diploid oat has historically been of relevance in Spain, Portugal, England and Scotland and are presently more closely investigated (M. Scholten, Scotland) • The wild Avena species occur for the most in the Mediterranean region (Morocco) and partly in the Near East

  6. Which genetic diversity is of relevance for future generations? • The breeding strategies can be different: • Monogenic disease resistances for crown rust from wild oat species have been of great importance in North America (J. Chong) • Breeding for horizontal resistances may be easier when using the cultivated species (D. Stuthman) • The use of wild species seems to become more important to widen the genetic diversity in the cultivated gene-pool

  7. 1886 1920 1940 1960 1970 1980 1990 2001 Genetic erosion in Canadian oat cultivars released between 1886 and 2001 based on microsatellite markers (Dr. Y.-B. Fu)

  8. Number of cultivars and morphological groups in 126 oat cultivars released in Canada since 1866

  9. Concentration of certain phenotypes in the PGRC A. sativa collection

  10. Do we know what diversity is? The questions regarding diversity are often difficult to discuss because there are different concepts of diversity. Functional genetic diversity and genetic diversity in the narrow sense are very different issues. Associations analyses between the two may result in a more coherent picture. Talking about genetic erosion can become emotional for the above mentioned and other reasons.

  11. Evolutionary origin of cultivated oat species (Loskutov 2008)

  12. Oat pedigrees in 1918(Source: Zade 1918) Crop improvement by mass selection or line selection Crop improvement by cross breeding 17 cultivars were selected from the landrace ‘Probsteier’

  13. Cultivated oat germplasm • The world genebanks preserve about 80.000 accessions of cultivated oat species (A. sativa, A. byzantina, A. abyssinica, A. strigosa, A. nuda) • The diversity of landraces is of great importance and in situ or on farm conservation are presently not significant in industrialized countries • Genebanks are important sources for such diversity

  14. Evolutionary relationships among Avena species (Loskutov 2008)

  15. Wild oat species • The world genebanks preserve about 20,000 accessions of wild Avena species • Some of these crop wild relatives are threatened in their natural habitats and ex situ preservation may be essential for their survival • The crop wild relatives receive recently more attention as genetic resources for crop improvement

  16. Avena accessions shipped from PGRC since 1998 • Total accessions shipped since 1998: 14,014 • Number of requests: 156 from 21 countries and from within Canada • Internal request for screenings: 1,545 accessions • Other requests from within Canada: 10,061 accessions (72%)

  17. Trends in germplasm requests from PGRC • Less requests for germplasm screenings • More specific requests for donors of certain genes • More requests for wild Avena species for genetic studies • Only few requests directly by plant breeders • The breeding strategies applied strongly affect the germplasm needs for breeding

  18. Global trends in oat germplasm(Graphs not based on data but on perception) Germplasm Information

  19. Global Crop Diversity Trust supports security back-up seed storage for all genebanks and crops In function since February 2008 Location: Svalbard Archipelago, belongs to Norway (80ºN, about 1000km from the pole) Capacity: 4.5 Million seeds samples of 500 seeds each Temperature: Cooled to -18ºC Natural temperature of surrounding rock: -3.5ºC More information: http://www.croptrust.org/main/arctic.php?itemid=211 Opening ceremony: http://media01.smartcom.no/Microsite/dss_01.aspx?eventid=2798

  20. Issues for the Global Oat Diversity Network • How can genbanks co-operate more efficiently? • Duplication, regeneration, characterization • The access to information world-wide is technically possible. Should we search for funding to establish a World Oat Database? • Is there a need for rescue collecting of wild Avena species or cultivated oat landraces threatened by extinction? • Can genebanks contribute to better utilization of the diversity stored in ex situ collections?

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