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No 9 September 2018

Can oat make intensive farming more sustainable?

This summer was one of the warmest and driest in memory and many farmers all across Sweden are now facing the consequences. We do not yet have the official numbers but everything points to seriously low harvests for many agricultural crops, including oat. This has brought up the issues of farming resilience and climate adaptation to the top of the agenda. The next ScanOats workshop will therefore be on agricultural sustainability and the potential contributions of oat as a sturdy and low-demanding crop. You can read about it under the Coming events headline below and soon the registration will be open at the ScanOats website.

With that I wish you an enjoyable reading!

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Eriksson

ScanOats Research Coordinator



The News section

World Porridge Making Championships 2018

Did you think there was only one way to prepare oatmeal porridge? Well, not if you ask Ellinor Persson from Sweden, last year´s gold medalist of the World Porridge Making Championship. In October, we will see her defending her title against a Russian café owner, a Finnish pastry chef, a French architect and many other porridge experts from all over the world. Read about it here.



World tour of oat R&D

Crossing oat with maize as a research tool

Crossing different distantly related plant species with each other is a valuable method for cytogenetic and genomic studies. However, sometimes it is difficult to retrieve viable seed, and it may also happen that much of the chromosomes from one of the species is lost. Now a research team from Poland has crossed oat with maize and managed to raise a number of viable lines with a mix of genetic material from both species. One exciting research area that this may facilitate is the transfer of C4 photosynthesis to plant species that otherwise have C3 photosynthesis. Read more about it here.

Oat evolution revealed in the maternal lineages of 25 oat relatives

Cultivated hexaploid oat has three different sets of nuclear genomes (A, C, D), but its evolutionary history is still not fully elucidated. Now a research team from Canada has studies the sequence of 25 oat relatives (Avena) to provide a much more detailed picture. These findings not only advance our knowledge on oat genome evolution, but also have implications for oat germplasm conservation and utilization in breeding. Read the fascinating story here.

Eating oat β-glucan for breakfast lowers your appetite – but not the grazing

There is evidence that oat β-glucan lowers appetite and ad libitum eating; however, not all studies are consistent, and the underpinning mechanisms are not entirely understood. Collaborating research teams from UK and Switzerland investigated the effects of eating 4 grams of oat β-glucan for breakfast and found that the feelings of fullness and satiety was increased, but the amount of grazing was nevertheless not reduced. Read more here.

Oat as a substrate for symbiotic beverages

Oat base may also be a good substrate for symbiotic beverages that include Lactobacillus populations. A group from China has investigated the properties of a symbiotic oat-based beverage to show the value of this low-fat and high-fiber food. Read all about it here.

Fermented oats, anyone?

Development of oat-based fermented beverages started in Europe in the past 30 years with the rise of the functional foods market. The main health effects are normally attributed to the β-glucan content, but oat is also a valuable source of high quality proteins, unsaturated lipids and antioxidants. The slowly digestible oat starch is also important for the glycaemic response. Oat drinks are formulated through processing oat with a liquid ingredient. Further, this base is then treated with lactic acid bacteria to produce a fermented beverage. A research team from Bulgaria has evaluated the full potential of oat for developing new functional fermented beverages. Read about it here.



Coming events

ScanOats 2nd workshop: Oat for a sustainable agriculture

The increasing world population presents a great challenge to food production. Expanding the agricultural land is not a viable option and therefore increased production has to occur by intensification and increased yields. Sustainable intensification (SI) is therefore of high priority to many national and international institutions. Oat has a high disease resistance, a low input demand and is an excellent rotation crop contributing to reduced soil erosion and plant diseases – making it particularly suitable for SI agricultural systems. This workshop will address various aspects of sustainable agriculture and how oat can contribute to developing a highly productive agricultural system with less negative environmental impact.

Venue: SLU, Alnarp

Time: 14 November 2018, 12:00-16:00

You can read more about it here.




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


Thank you for reading the ScanOats 9th Newsletter! The next Newsletter will arrive in your mailbox on 15th November 2018. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact the ScanOats Research Coordinator Dennis Eriksson at

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