Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science

First Advisor

Melanie Caffe


Kernel size is a vital milling characteristic for Avena sativa L. (oats), with larger kernel size being desirable for milling facilities. This project evaluated the effect of genotype, environment, and their genotype by environment interaction (G by E) on kernel width, length, and area for a set of 27 oat cultivars grown at multiple locations in South Dakota over three years. Findings indicated significant differences among oat varieties, and that environment had a substantial effect on kernel size. However, we did not see a strong influence of genotype by environment interaction on kernel size. The lack of impact for genotype by environment interaction indicates that the rank order of the varieties will be similar from one environment to another, meaning kernel size measurement can occur in fewer locations and still successfully identify genotypes with larger width, length, and area. Broad-sense heritability was also evaluated. Our long-term objective is to develop new oat varieties with larger kernel size. With broad-sense heritability estimates ranging between 0.42 – 0.79 in our study, breeding for increased kernel size will be achievable. We did a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to locate the significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control kernel size. Using the recently published oat genome, we found four loci for kernel width and length as well as the RNA sequences from the reference genome. Only one of those RNA sequences had high similarity with a sequence (TRINITY_DN32700_c0_g1_i1) found in Emmer. By finding the markers that impact kernel size marker assisted selection can now be used to help breeders breed for larger kernel size.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oats -- Varieties.
Oats -- Genetics.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright