At present the winter oat recommended list issued by The Department of Agriculture and the Marine includes three oat varieties, two of these recommended varieties are spring varieties (Barra, Husky) whereas only one is a true winter variety (Vodka). One goal of VICCI is to expand the availability of varieties suited to Irish agricultural conditions by testing elite variety and near-variety status material in Ireland. For Oats, varieties and breeding lines of winter oats bred at Aberystwyth University in Wales (UK) are being trialled at Teagasc, to identify potential varieties that might be suitable for use in Ireland.
Oats are susceptible to Fusarium head blight, and can suffer severely in Irish conditions. In VICCI, we are screening elite germplasm and heritage varieties for resistance to FHB, largely in controlled glasshouse conditions. Lines identified during these experiments are being metabolomics and transcriptomic analysis in order to identify candidate genes underlying the resistance response that can be used as genetic markers in breeding programmes developing varieties for Ireland.
Contact: Fiona Doohan