Seed World

Saskatchewan Researchers Helped Develop New White Hull Oat Variety

The University of Minnesota (UMN), in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, has released a new white hull oat variety called ‘MN-Pearl.’ MN-Pearl is a high-yielding variety with good straw strength and high groat percentage. It also has good overall disease resistance including moderate crown rust resistance and excellent smut resistance.

“In state trials MN-Pearl established itself as a late-maturing, high-yielding variety with good overall disease resistance,” said Kevin Smith UMN oat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “In particular, MN-Pearl has excellent smut resistance, thus continuing the University’s tradition of releasing oat varieties that do not require chemical seed treatment to protect them from this disease.”

The new variety was bred as part of the collaborative oat-evaluation program established by longtime UMN oat breeder Deon Stuthman, who retired in 2009, and Brian Rossnagel, who led the oat and barley breeding program at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatchewan until his retirement in 2011. For many years the two programs exchanged and evaluated a number of breeding lines with a simple handshake between the breeders as an agreement to share in the release of any varieties arising from those exchanges.

“MN-Pearl is the result of good old-fashioned plant breeder collaboration via simple germplasm exchange and sharing,” said Brian Rossnagel. “I am very pleased that our two institutions have, with the ongoing assistance of our colleague Howard Rines, honored that handshake between Stuthman and myself as we were not only colleagues but good friends. Let’s hope that MN-Pearl serves oat growers as well as our collaboration has.”

“MN-Pearl is truly a white-seed version of another popular oat variety, Deon,” said Jochum Wiersma, Extension Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and an Extension Agronomist. “Growers should expect similar maturity, protein, yield and disease resistance from this new option.”

MN-Pearl joins UMN release Deon (2012) as a variety offering a good combination of characteristics that performs well across the upper Midwest. The new variety’s name reflects its pearly-white hull, a trait that is often sought after by millers.