Breeding milling oat varieties with improved agronomic, quality and disease traits for Saskatchewan oat Producers
Oat is considered a healthy cereal due to a number of nutritional compounds found within the grain, including beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower plasma cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Oat grain also contains a number of antioxidant compounds, including the polyphenolic avenanthramides, which have anti- inflammatory effects. Oat contains 12-20% protein which is rich in globulins and contains more lysine and threonine than other cereals and provides a better balance of essential amino acids.
Oats is able to be consumed by most people suffering from celiac disease and is thus considered to be gluten-free. As a result of these desirable attributes, oats remain a significant Canadian crop.
To build on Saskatchewan’s (and Canada’s) position as a supplier of premium quality oats to current and developing markets, requires developing varieties with improved agronomic, quality and disease resistance.
The CDC is exploring new traits for incorporation into future Canadian oat varieties that may add value to the crop.