Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Producing cold-tolerant oats for autumn sowing in Sweden

Oat is the sixth most important cereal in the world. Traditionally it has been used for feed, but it’s importance as a food crop is steadily growing due to it’s unique health beneficial properties. Unfortunately, oat cannot be grown as a winter crop in Sweden. To remedy this, researchers at the University of Gothenburg are now in the process to develop new, more cold-tolerant winter oat varieties.

The health benefits of oats are well documented in the scientific literature and oat is one of the few crops that has a health claim both in the US and in EU. The oat kernel contains relatively high levels of healthy fibre, fatty acids and anti-oxidants and oat proteins have a beneficial amino acid composition. Thus, it’s potential as a health crop for both man and livestock is very big.

The long-term applied aim of Chawade’s project is to produce a Swedish winter oat. In pure biological terms, this means an oat that has adapted to several different and simultaneous stress factors such as cold weather, frost, dryness and strong light. In molecular biological terms, this means that thousands of different genes need to be co-ordinated in an optimal way.

“From an environmental point of view, an autumn-sown crop is preferable as the ground isn’t left bare over winter, and this reduces leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients and hinders soil erosion. Furthermore, since winter crops are already established at the beginning of the growth season and harvested earlier than the spring sown crops, the use of pesticides and herbicides in the field can be reduced says Aakash Chawade at the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology. “An autumn-sown crop also tends to give a 20-25% higher yield than a spring-sown crop.”

In order to develop a winter oat, it is necessary to understand the underlying mechanisms for how plants can adapt to changes in environmental conditions such as climate, soil and so on. It was therefore necessary to produce a hardier oat than any of the current oat lines to study which genetic adaptations have taken place.

“We studied winter field survival in hundreds of oat lines collected from various international winter oat breeding programs, and identified those lines that both survive the winter and grow well in southern Sweden,” says Chawade. “We then compared the hardiest of these lines with the spring oats that are now grown commercially and could identify a number of unique characteristics in the hardy varieties that could be linked to cold tolerance.”

The research group has also built up a unique population of mutagenised oats with so many mutations that they can theoretically identify mutations in any gene in the genome. They have demonstrated that this works in practice. This population will now be screened for lines with increased cold tolerance.

The thesis, Unravelling the complexity of cold acclimation in plants, was successfully defended at the University of Gothenburg.

For further information, please contact:
Aakash Chawade, Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, tel: +46 (0)31 786 2602, e-mail:

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>