- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Aegilops cylindrica Host, 1802
Other Scientific Names
- Aegilops caudata var. cylindrica (Host) Fiori, 1923
- Cylindropyrum cylindricum (Host) A. Love, 1982
- Triticum cylindricum (Host) Ces., Pass. & Gibelli, 1869
International Common Names
- English: cylindrical hard-grass; jointed goatgrass
- French: égilope a queue; égilope cylindrique
- Chinese: shan yang cao
Local Common Names
- Armenia: aytzagn klanatzev; karachod klanatzev
- Azerbaijan: istvanevi bugdayiot
- Czech Republic: mnohostet valcovit'y
- Germany: Cylindrischer Walch; Walzenformiger Walch; Zylinder Walch; Zylindrischer Walch
- Hungary: kecskebuza; kecskezsem
- Iran: alaf e bose; alaf ebose
- Iraq: karkhankina
- Israel: ben-khita galiloni
- Italy: cerere cilindrica
- Kazakhstan: kilitik chop
- Lebanon: dawsar
- Mexico: zacate cara de cabra
- Netherlands: eennaald-geitenoog
- Romania: ciucure
- Russian Federation: ovodnik
- Serbia: valijkasta ostika
- Slovakia: mnohostet valcovit'y
- Turkey: kirpikli ot; sakalotu; yuvarlak bugday otu
- Turkmenistan: cylinderli bogdayli-tchair
- Uzbekistan: jetteburun
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
A. cylindricais hard to control selectively because of its close genetic association and hybridization with wheat. Other species from the same genus have weedy attributes but only those that accumulate metalloid trace elements and A. tauschiihave the potential to become invasive. Among the metalloid species, A. triuncialis(barb goatgrass) is considered an invader on rangelands in California (Davy et al., 2008).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Poaceae
- Genus: Aegilops
- Species: Aegilops cylindrica
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Since 1971, the genus Aegilops has had a separate generic status (Harlan and Wet, 1971). Fourteen different varieties and subspecies (heterotype synonymous) have been reported (van Slageren, 1994). Two of these morphologically distinct varieties are found in the USA: rubiginosa and cylindrica. The rubiginosa variety has pubescent outer glumes on the spikelets, whereas the cylindrica variety has glumes that are glabrous to scabrous.
DescriptionTop of page
A. cylindrica is a tufted winter annual grass with few to many tillers (Donald and Ogg, 1991). The culms are semi-prostrate at the base and later ascending to upright (Hitchcock, 1950). The length of the culms is usually 20–40 cm but can be up to 80 cm tall (excluding spikes). Isolated plants can produce more than 100 tillers (Morishita, 1996). The leaves are alternate, hairy, 3–15 cm long and 0.2–0.5 cm wide. The basal and uppermost leaves are shorter than elsewhere on the culm (Priadcencu et al., 1967). Leaves have a membranous, short ligule and hairy auricles. The inflorescence is a narrow cylindrical spike, slightly tapering towards the apex with a usual length of 5–8 cm but can be up to 12 cm long (excluding awns) and around 0.3 cm wide, with 4–12 (normally 6–8) fertile spikelets arranged compactly and alternatively along the main axis of the spike (Johnston and Parker, 1929; Hitchcock, 1950; McGregor, 1987). Spikelets are sessile, 9–10 mm long and about 3 mm wide. The apical spikelet is obconical, shorter and more slender, 7 mm long and 2 mm wide (van Slageren, 1994). In the spikelet, there are 3–5 florets of which the lower 1–2 usually are fertile (Johnston and Parker, 1929), but there can be up to five fertile florets producing 5 seeds per spikelet. Glumes are ovate-oblong, 7–9 mm long, green to purplish-green with surface scabrid and veins unequally wide, sunk into the surface, more or less parallel. Lemmas of fertile florets are 9–10 mm long, narrow elliptical, boat-shaped and folded to conduplicate (folded lengthwise) in the apical part, with the inner surface of the apical part velutinous. Lemmas of apical spikelets have a prominent central awn, 4–8 cm long (Donald and Ogg, 1991), with 2 sharp teeth at the base and are less divergent at maturity than glume awns. Lemma awns of sterile apical florets are much reduced. The palea is narrowly ovate-elliptical, with 2 sharp, setose keels ending in an acute apex. The caryopsis is 6–7 mm long with adherent lemma and palea (van Slageren, 1994).
Plant TypeTop of page
Grass / sedge
DistributionTop of page
A. cylindrica distribution in Europe is difficult to classify as being either a natural or an adventive species. It is assumed that its spread from the Balkans northwards along the Danube into Hungary and Slovakia and even to the Istrian peninsula and northeastern Italy has been natural. It was introduced early and classified as an adventive species in Northwest Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Armenia, and Algeria (North Africa). At the end of nineteenth century, it was introduced to the USA and has spread to 32 states (USDA-NRCS, 2006). It has also been reported in Mexico (Chihuahua) (SAGAR, 1995) and two populations were found in Southeast Canada in 2006 and 2007 (CFIA, 2008).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Afghanistan||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Georgia||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Iran||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Iraq||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Kyrgyzstan||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Lebanon||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Pakistan||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Syria||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Tajikistan||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Turkmenistan||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Austria||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Belarus||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|Croatia||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Greece||Present, Few occurrences||Native||Also Rhodes|
|-Crete||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|North Macedonia||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Romania||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Slovakia||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Slovenia||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Spain||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|United Kingdom||Present, Localized||Introduced|
|Canada||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|United States||Present, Widespread||Introduced||1870||Invasive|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
The first report of A. cylindrica in Israel was in 1994 (Danin and Scholz, 1994). In 1995, it was reported in Northern Mexico (SAGAR, 1995; NAPPO, 2003). The latest introduction was reported in Canada in 2006–2007, where two populations were found 5 km apart near Port Colborne, Ontario (CFIA, 2008). One of the populations was growing in disturbed ground near an abandoned quarry and decommissioned railway line.
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous restocking|
|Canada||USA||2006||Crop production (pathway cause)||CFIA (2008)|
|Israel||1987||Danin and Scholz (1994)|
|Mexico||USA||1995||Crop production (pathway cause)||SAGAR (1995)|
|USA||Eastern Europe||1870s||Crop production (pathway cause)||Yes||Johnston (1931)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
As A. cylindrica is spread only by seed, the most likely risk of introduction is by contaminated wheat seed or in used farm machinery. In the Australian wheat growing areas of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, there is a particular concern about the introduction of A. cylindrica as the species is well suited to these areas.
HabitatTop of page
A. cylindrica has only been found in the northern hemisphere between latitudes of 30° and 55° (van Slageren, 1994) and generally in temperate climates with hot summers and cold winters. It is a species of ruderal and disturbed sites, wastelands, road and railway sides, dry hill and mountain slopes, grasslands, and close by or within cultivation of orchards, vineyards, wheat fields, and occasionally in alfalfa. In the USA it is most commonly found in winter wheat fields or other cereal grain fields, along fences, roadsides, and waste areas (Donald and Ogg, 1991). Near or within wheat fields, A. cylindrica can easily form natural hybrids (Johnston and Parker, 1929; Morrison et al., 2002). It also infests rangelands surrounding wheat-growing areas and land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) throughout the western USA (Donald and Ogg, 1991; NAPPO, 2003).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Secondary/tolerated habitat||Productive/non-natural|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Disturbed areas||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Rail / roadsides||Principal habitat||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Arid regions||Principal habitat||Natural|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
A. cylindrica is generally a weed in agricultural land and is often associated with winter wheat production. It is well adapted to reduced tillage farming systems. Outside cultivated land, it is present in disturbed areas. There are no reports of the presence of A. cylindrica in natural forest or woodlands.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Whether or not A. cylindrica is better adapted to certain types of soil, is unknown. However, studies show that emergence is restricted to 2.5 cm in sand, 5 cm in some silt loam soils, and 7.5 cm in loamy sand soils. Growers and researchers have observed better emergence in compacted soils such as the wheel tracks of combines and tractors (Donald and Ogg, 1991). In its natural habitat, A. cylindrica is mainly found in calcareous and basaltic soils, and less frequently on sands. It is found in many types of soil including clay, clay loam and sandy loam, and sometimes in sands. Sankary (1990) indicated that it is rarely found in hard limestone or dolomitic soils. In Romania, it can be found on sandy pastures. In the USA, it is reported to occur in sands, dry gravel, sandy clay and clay loams. A. cylindrica can grow under a wide range of soil pH levels, from 5.3 to 8.5 (Donald, 1991; Young et al., 2003).
ClimateTop of page
|B - Dry (arid and semi-arid)||Preferred||< 860mm precipitation annually|
|D - Continental/Microthermal climate||Preferred||Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)|
|Ds - Continental climate with dry summer||Preferred||Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-39|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||40|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||-34||5|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||6||10||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||50||800||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
A. cylindrica has been introduced in places like Eastern Australia and the USA as germplasm for wheat breeding purposes. In Western Australia, wheat breeders are not permitted to use A. cylindrica in their programmes.
Pathway CausesTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Economic/livelihood||Positive and negative|
Economic ImpactTop of page
According to Donald and Ogg (1991), A. cylindrica is an overwintering host for the Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) and the following fungal diseases: Ascochyta sp. (leaf spot), Fusarium acuminatum (pink mold), Pseudocercosporella herpotrichoides, Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, P. recondita f. sp. tritici,P. striifornis, Pythium arrhenomanes, P. debaryanum (damping off), Tilletia controversa (dwarf bunt), Uromyces graminicola, Tilletia indica (karnal bunt).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Highly mobile locally
- Has high reproductive potential
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of fire regime
- Monoculture formation
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Pest and disease transmission
- Rapid growth
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
A. cylindrica is considered part of the secondary gene pool of wheat (Hegde et al., 2002) and a valuable source of genetic variation for wheat improvement. Accessions of A. cylindrica have been studied as a source of rust and karnel bunt resistance. The high frost resistance levels found in A. cylindrica make it particularly promising for improving cold tolerance in bread wheat (Limin and Fowler, 1981). The species has also been described as a gene source for salt and drought tolerance (Farooq and Azam, 2001). It has a high resistance to snow mold (Iriki et al., 2001), Hessian fly (Bouhssini et al., 2008), and leaf rust (Spetsov et al., 2006). There are contrasting reports, as Zaharieva et al. (2003) reports A. cylindrica as the most susceptible Aegilops species to rust. According to Dhaliwal et al. (1993), some accessions are resistant to cereal nematodes (Heterodera avenae) and stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis).
As a source for animal feed A. cylindrica is recognized locally as a forage plant in Iraq (van Slageren, 1994). A nutritional analysis indicated that it contains 11.7% protein, 1.4% ether extract, 26.1% crude fiber, 8.2% moisture, 5.8% ash, and 46.8% nitrogen-free extract (Heyne, 1950).
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Gene source
- Test organisms (for pests and diseases)
Human food and beverage
- Emergency (famine) food
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
In early growth stages, A. cylindrica resembles winter wheat (Triticum aestivum). However, the colour of the coleoptile may be reddish to brown in A. cylindrica and whitish green in wheat (Johnston and Parker, 1929). Seedlings of A. cylindrica are narrower than those of wheat, and evenly-spaced hairs can be seen on the leaf margins of A. cylindrica while wheat has few or no hairs (Donald and Ogg, 1991).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Seed dispersal is the only means of A. cylindrica dissemination. Therefore, planting certified seed is the most often recommended means for reducing A. cylindrica spread (Donald and Ogg, 1991). Other ways to minimize spread include covering transport trucks loaded with contaminated grain, cleaning A. cylindrica seed from farm machinery, trucks and rail wagons, processing contaminated grain before feeding to livestock, and not bailing or transporting contaminated straw to non-infested areas.
Field research indicates that crop rotation where winter wheat is not grown for at least three years is the most effective cultural practice to control A. cylindrica. As A. cylindrica plants can produce seed if they emerge in the spring, late spring-planted crops such as corn, sunflower, grain sorghum, or proso millet are more effective in a rotation to control A. cylindrica than early-spring planted crops such as oats, spring barley or spring wheat. In areas that receive intermediate to high rainfall, the crop rotation can be lengthened by using spring grains, spring legumes, and canola (Schmale et al., 2009a, b).
A soil bacteria isolate showed up to 75% selective phytotoxic control of A. cylindrica when applied to small test plots (Harris and Stahlman, 1996). However, control in field studies was inconsistent because the bacteria were unable to rapidly colonize weed roots.
Selective herbicide control is difficult because A. cylindrica closely mimics the life cycle of winter wheat, to which it is genetically related. Fallow is one of the best times to control the weed with herbicides because selectivity is not a factor. Nonselective herbicides such as glyphosate, paraquat, metribuzin or pronamide will control A. cylindrica in fallow. Field studies show that some herbicides applied preemergence, usually in combination with atrazine, provide effective residual control, although the high cost of these treatments may limit their usefulness. The best method in early spring for fields not in a wheat crop is a glyphosate application to A. cylindrica seedlings (Schmale et al., 2009a, b). The application should be performed no later than the boot plant stage to avoid production of viable seed. The development of herbicide-resistant wheat such as Clearfield varieties resistant to imazamox, allows selective control of A. cylindrica in wheat (Ball et al., 1999).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
- Assessment of selection pressure (herbicide treatment in this case) on genes retention on shared and unshared genomes is needed.
- Determination of the factors associated with the wide range of distribution of the species and adaptation to different environments considering the low genetic diversity in the species.
ReferencesTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
13/08/09 Original text by:
Elena Sanchez, Oregon State University, Weed Science, USA
Carol Mallory-Smith, Oregon State University, Department of Crop and Soil Science, 109 Crop Science Building, Oregon State University, Corvallis. Oregon, USA
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