Fall Lecture Series 2021 Detail

Avena magna ssp. domestica: A Path to Food Security Through Rapid Domestication of a Wild Species by Dr. Eric Jackson

– Part of the CDA Fall Lecture Series.


Speaker: Eric Jackson

Co-founder of 25:2 solutions 



Symbiosis – hosted by Prof. Jesse Poland



Protein is an essential part of the human diet and crops containing a complete amino acid profile are scarce. Common cultivated cereal grains, a staple food source in most of the countries of the world, are primarily rich in starch and fiber (soluble and insoluble). Unfortunately, these grains have modest levels of grain protein (~10%) and few contain all the amino acids required in the human diet. Common cultivated oat (Avena sativa) has long been a healthy food and animal fodder primarily due to favorable levels of grain beta glucan (soluble fiber), antioxidants, and a beneficial fatty acid profile. Attempts have been made to increase the protein levels in cultivated oat to make oat-based food products a premium amino acid source. However, little gain has been made in this endeavor only increasing levels of grain protein from 15% to ~20%. In the early 1970’s Dr. Gideon Ladizinski and Dr. Mike Leggett discovered Avena magna, a wild relative of cultivated oat, and found that it was a promising source of protein. After several decades of work to domesticate the species with limited success using traditional cross-species genetics, work using induced variation followed by machine assisted breeding was deployed. The result was a new subspecies named A. magna spp. domestica which had favorable agronomic characters and a balanced macronutrient grain content with double the protein of common oat. A. magna spp. domestica has since been used to develop high protein products in three countries including Uncle Toby’s Oatmeal, premium Moroccan Couscous, and Ethiopian Injera. In addition, three new varieties have been registered in Morocco and Ethiopia and additional varieties are in the final stages of testing in Nigeria. This seminar will tell the story of how A. magna spp. domestica was developed and the path that was forged to provide vital nutrition where it is need most. 


About the Speaker

Dr. Eric Jackson is the Co-Founder 25:2 Solutions with his wife Mrs. Kimberly Jackson and serves as the Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Dr. Jackson has a background in quantitative and statistical genomics, neural network analyses, predictive analytics, plant pathology, and molecular biology. Over his 20 years of professional experience, he has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and holds several patents. Dr. Jackson has led global research groups and successfully domesticated Avena magna spp domestica (high protein oat species) and delivered it to market. 


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Eric Jackson

Co-founder of 25:2 solutions

Event Quick Information

11 Nov, 2021
03:00 PM - 04:30 PM