Revealing the Unseen: Enhancing Variety Selection Through Genomics and Quality Assessment

Revealing the Unseen: Enhancing Variety Selection Through Genomics and Quality Assessment

Join us for an insightful field demonstration showcasing the dynamic fusion of biotechnology data and quality traits that is shaping the future of barley breeding. This session will discuss the application of biotechnology tools such as marker-assisted selection and genetic mapping to identify and prioritize quality traits in breeding programs. Experience first hand how our program is extending the assessment of new malt varieties with the integration of malt analysis, brewing and sensory evaluation. Witness how these technologies can expedite the selection process and enhance breeding efficiency, unlocking the full potential of malt barley development for the industry.


Lori Oatway is a highly experienced Cereal Scientist with over 30 years of expertise in cereal quality and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). As a Research Scientist at Western Crop Innovation in Lacombe, Alberta, Lori leads the Quality Program that is responsible for evaluating new grain and forage varieties for quality traits. Over her career, Lori has developed NIRS to expand the quality program to include feed, forage, food and malting characteristics and she works closely with industry stakeholders to identify new traits for markets and applications. Lori believes collaboration is key to strengthening our industry and enjoys sharing her knowledge and time with farm, science, and education communities. In addition to her work at FCDC, Lori, her husband Ward and daughters Ezri and Brie, farm just south of Clive, producing and selling pedigree seed. This provides a practical application to the research that Lori works on daily.

Dr. Jennifer Zantinge serves as a research scientist and leads the Western Crop Innovation biotech lab. The lab specializes in translational research, focusing on identifying, developing, validating, and implementing new research technologies and tools to enhance the quality and efficiency of variety development processes. Dr. Zantinge’s research group is dedicated to employing molecular and bioinformatics techniques to identify QTLs, genes, and haplotypes associated with trait variation. The biotech lab supports breeders by developing genetic markers to predict disease resistance, quality traits, and yield.

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Crop Plots
Lori Oatway & Dr. Jennifer Zantinge, Western Crop Innovations
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