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No 10 November 2018

ScanOats putting in the next gear

As you may have seen from the summer newsletter, and on the website, ScanOats has now recruited several researchers to join and reinforce the work packages. This is a lift to the next level and means ScanOats will able to do more research, deliver more results, publish more, and take us several steps closer to new, exciting and healthy oat products. Because you have not had enough of oats, have you? No, I thought so. In the meantime, you may also check out some other oat products coming in from our neighbor in the east. Read more about it below. But not before you have heard what the new ScanOats researchers have to say.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Eriksson

ScanOats Research Coordinator

 

Welcoming the new ScanOats employees!

This summer, ScanOats announced several research positions at various levels. Now the work packages have been reinforced with a total of eight excellent and highly competent staff. I therefore asked them to introduce themselves to the readers of the ScanOats newsletter.

Nikos Tsardakas Renhuldt: - I have a MSc in machine learning and a BSc in biotechnology from KTH. My PhD project at the ScanOats WP1 will initially focus on getting the oat genome assembled and annotated. Currently I am also working on a bioinformatics pipeline for identification of interesting mutations. Later during the project I hope to explore how machine learning can be used to facilitate oat breeding.

Johan Bentzer: - I am a bioinformatician working previously at Lund University. As a research technician in the ScanOats WP1, I am setting up a web-based oat genome browser and annotation editor.

Sofia Marmon: - I am a molecular biologists with a PhD in Bioscience from Chalmers, and have the last years worked at Göttingen University and at SLU with enzymes involved in lipid accumulation in oil crop seeds. As a postdoc in the ScanOats WP2, I will research lipases and other enzymes related to lipid breakdown and oxidation with the goal to develop low-lipase oat with improved storage properties.

Alfia Khairullina: - I have a MSc in Biochemistry. Now as a PhD student in the ScanOats WP2, I will work on developing tools for Fusarium-resistance in oat breeding.

Cecilia Tullberg: - I have a PhD in Food Science from the department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, where I worked with lipid oxidation of marine omega-3 oils during digestion. As a postdoc in ScanOats, I now work in the oat processing group (WP4) and will focus on lipid oxidation and oat lipids: characterization, physical properties, and possible future applications.

Roya Sardari: - I have been working as a researcher in the Division of Biotechnology, Lund University. I have a PhD in Biotechnology, and now as a postdoc in the ScanOat WP4 I will work on a project for extraction, analysis, and identification of proteins from oat.

Siri Norlander: - I have a MSc in Molecular biotechnology Engineering from Uppsala University. As a PhD student in ScanOats, I am developing bioprocessing methods to transform oat carbohydrates into healthy novel products, such as prebiotics.

Mukul Mohamad: - I studied bachelor’s in Food Engineering at Bangladesh Agricultural University followed by master’s in Food Technology and Nutrition at Lund University. Previously I worked with metabolic effects of amino acids on blood glucose and insulin regulation at the Anti-Diabetes Food Centre in Lund. Now I am doing PhD in the ScanOats WP 5, where I will be responsible for investigating health benefits of oat-based food products on lifestyle-related diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

 

Reporting from the second ScanOats workshop

The second ScanOats workshop was arranged in Alnarp on 14 November. 33 participants enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of presentations on the topic “Oat for a sustainable agriculture”. Anders Jonsson, who is the ScanOats WP3 leader, initiated the workshop by describing some general perspectives on how to optimize nutrient supply in agriculture. He also discussed how the nutrient supply, with particular focus on nitrogen, influences the quality of the harvest as well as presented the general outline of the field experiments he is coordinating within ScanOats. Tina d´Hertefeldt from Lund University then gave the audience an overview of relations between weed management and sustainability in agriculture; amongst others describing the different trade-offs and consequences that are linked to different management practices. Georg Carlsson, researcher at SLU in Alnarp, continued by talking about ecosystem services from diversified cropping systems. He showed the benefits of well-designed crop rotations as well as giving an interesting example of lentil-oat intercropping. Putting the oat itself in focus, Alf Ceplitis, Senior oat breeder at Lantmännen, demonstrated just how suitable oat is for contributing to a sustainable agriculture, with data showing that oat requires less pesticides and nitrogen supply than other common cereals such as wheat and barley. There is still room for improvement though and that is why breeding is important! Carina Tollmar from Oatly tied the things together by showing where oat fits in a systems perspective, presenting life cycle assessments of oat products and discussing not only farm practices but also diet changes and life styles that will affect agricultural systems. In the concluding panel discussion, the speakers were asked how they would preferably invest ten million Swedish kronor to contribute to sustainability in agriculture. Among the answers was mentioned that promoting consumer awareness is crucial, pulling sustainable solutions from the primary production.

 

The News section

PlantLink funding to oat research

PlantLink, a collaborative centre supporting plant science at SLU Alnarp and Lund University, has granted seed money to initiate three novel and innovative research project. Two of these went to oat research, providing a nice complement to the research carried out at ScanOats. ScanOats WP1 leader Nick Sirijovski and WP2 leader Olof Olsson together with ScanOats associated researchers Mats Hansson and Åsa Grimberg was granted funding to develop an image analysis pipeline for oat, barley and wheat seeds. Nick Sirijovski was also co-applicant for a funded project to develop touch response in oat. Read more about it at the PlantLink website.

Fazer increases oat investment

In Finland, oat food products under the brand Yosa have been around a long time. But now will Fazer also start selling these products in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. This investment is the result of the increased interest in oatbased products, and will be accompanied by a doubling of the capacity of the oat mill in Lahti in Finland. Read more about it here (in Swedish). https://www.food-supply.se/article/view/622557/fazer_utokar_havresatsning?ref=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily

 

Opportunities

Keep an eye on the ScanOats website for upcoming job offers, student projects and other opportunities.

 

Thank you for reading the ScanOats 10th Newsletter! The next Newsletter will arrive in your mailbox on 15th January 2019. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact the ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson at dennis.eriksson@tbiokem.lth.se.


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