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Melanie Caffe-Treml

Photo of Melanie Caffe-Treml
Title Assistant Professor
Office Building Plant Science Research Support Center
Room Number 113E Young Brothers Seed Technology Laboratory
Mailing Address South Dakota State University
Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science
SSTL 113E, Box 2108
Brookings, SD 57007

Dr. Caffe-Treml leads the oat breeding program at South Dakota State University and carries out various research projects related to oat improvement.

Applications of Research

The objective of the oat breeding program is to increase the profitability of farmers in South Dakota and surrounding states by rapidly developing and releasing new oat cultivars with increased productivity for grain and forage production, and improved agronomic characteristics including lodging resistance and resistance to fungal and viral diseases. Our objective is to also improve grain value and marketability. Oats present many health benefits for human consumption. We work closely with the oat milling industry to develop varieties with improved milling characteristics and increased nutritional value for consumers.

Academic Interests/Expertise

Oat Breeding and Genetics

Academic Responsibilities

PS746 - Plant Breeding

Committee Activities

American Oat Worker Committee (Secretary)
NC7 Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources (SDAES representative)
SDSU Variety Release Committee


Accelerating genetic improvement for oat milling and nutritional quality. NIFA. 2015-2018 (PI)
Developing improved oat varieties for producers and end-users. South Dakota Crop Improvement Association and Grain Millers. 2017-2020. (PI)
Oat variety trial under organic management: increasing profitability for organic producers in the North Central Region. SARE. 2017-2019. (PI)
Transcriptomics and metabolomics to identify drivers of seed composition in oat. NIFA. 2017-2020. (Co-PI)
Building a better oat -Improving our understanding of North American-produced food quality oats. NIFA. 2017-2020. (Co-PI)


Plant Variety Protection - Oat cultivar 'Hayden'
Plant Variety Protection - Oat cultivar 'Natty'
Plant Variety Protection - Hard winter wheat cultivar 'Redfield'

Awards & Honors

2018 Pat and Jo Cannon Intellectual Property Commercialization Award

Extension Responsibilities

Presentations at field days across the state to educate producers about oat cultivars released by the SDSU oat breeding program.