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CropTailor cracks the genetic code of oat

15 Jan 2018

The Swedish biotech company CropTailor has, as the world first, mapped the entire oat genome. This breakthrough research will contribute to more healthy and sustainable oat varieties. Lantmännen, with world-class oat R&D, is majority owner of CropTailor.

Together with ScanOats, CropTailor has managed to sequence the large and highly complex oat genome. This opens up possibilities for plant breeders to develop new beneficial oat varieties, such as high beta-glucan or protein levels. Oat varieties that are better adapted to the Swedish climate, and that are resistant to pathogenic insects and fungi, can also be developed.

–It is great that we have now finally cracked the entire genetic code, after years of research. Access to the entire genome has revolutionary potential for the work of developing improved oat varieties, says Olof Olsson, CEO of CropTailor.

Lantmännen, who is majority owner of CropTailor, is delighted about the success. Since long, Lantmännen is investing heavily in research and development. An important part of the R&D is within plant breeding in order to improve product quality, health benefits for the consumers, and crop health.

–Our Swedish oat is already among the best on the global market, and is exported toUSA, Canada and China, among others. Now we can optimize the oat varieties which will have further benefits for the consumers and also suggests a willingness to pay a premium price. It will also stimulate an increased export of Swedish oats, says Mats Larsson, Research Director of Lantmännen and Chair of CropTailor.

CropTailor used the oat variety Belinda for the genome sequencing. Now follows a continued effort to analyse Belinda and to develop a gene editing platform for oat. CropTailor will also sequence further oat varieties in order to produce a reference genome. This will be important to identify and characterize specific traits that are unique to particular oat varieties. All of this information is important to science and to the future oat breeding.

For more information, please contact:

Olof Olsson, CEO CropTailor, Phone: 0703 15 53 63, E-mail: olof.olsson@croptailor.com

Mats Larsson, Research Director at Lantmännen and Chair of ScanOats, Phone: 0705 57 83 39, E-mail: mats.larsson@lantmannen.com

Lantmännens press office, Phone: 010 556 88 00, E-mail: press@lantmannen.com

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