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Aegilops cylindrica

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Aegilops cylindrica

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 08 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Aegilops cylindrica
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Aegilops prefers disturbed habitats, and some species are known as colonizers, able to rapidly invade new territories. Frequently, these species can be found along roadsides, edges of cultivation, and as weeds
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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Stand of Aegilops cylindrica.
TitleHabit
CaptionStand of Aegilops cylindrica.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Stand of Aegilops cylindrica.
HabitStand of Aegilops cylindrica.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; growing in CRP.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; several spikes in a stand growing in old pasture
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; several spikes in a stand growing in old pasture
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; several spikes in a stand growing in old pasture
HabitAegilops cylindrica; several spikes in a stand growing in old pasture©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; seedling - spiklet remains attached to seedling.
TitleSeedling
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; seedling - spiklet remains attached to seedling.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; seedling - spiklet remains attached to seedling.
SeedlingAegilops cylindrica; seedling - spiklet remains attached to seedling.©Elena Sanchez
Spikes of both Aegilops cylindrica [and Bromus spp] in a field of wheat.
TitleHabit
CaptionSpikes of both Aegilops cylindrica [and Bromus spp] in a field of wheat.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Spikes of both Aegilops cylindrica [and Bromus spp] in a field of wheat.
HabitSpikes of both Aegilops cylindrica [and Bromus spp] in a field of wheat.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; mature plant growing next to wheat in a field crop.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; in a field crop of wheat.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; in a field crop of wheat.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; in a field crop of wheat.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; in a field crop of wheat.©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in between rows in a field crop of wheat.
TitleHabit
CaptionAegilops cylindrica; growing in between rows in a field crop of wheat.
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Aegilops cylindrica; growing in between rows in a field crop of wheat.
HabitAegilops cylindrica; growing in between rows in a field crop of wheat.©Elena Sanchez
Caryopside of A. cylindrica (a): spikelet of A. cylindrica (b): caryopside of wheat (c).
TitleCaryopsides
CaptionCaryopside of A. cylindrica (a): spikelet of A. cylindrica (b): caryopside of wheat (c).
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
Caryopside of A. cylindrica (a): spikelet of A. cylindrica (b): caryopside of wheat (c).
CaryopsidesCaryopside of A. cylindrica (a): spikelet of A. cylindrica (b): caryopside of wheat (c).©Elena Sanchez
A. cylindrica; close-up of two different morphologies.  Pubescent (a): Glabrous (b).
TitlePolymorphic specimens
CaptionA. cylindrica; close-up of two different morphologies. Pubescent (a): Glabrous (b).
Copyright©Elena Sanchez
A. cylindrica; close-up of two different morphologies.  Pubescent (a): Glabrous (b).
Polymorphic specimensA. cylindrica; close-up of two different morphologies. Pubescent (a): Glabrous (b).©Elena Sanchez

Identity

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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 Invasiveness

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Aegilops prefers disturbed habitats, and some species are known as colonizers, able to rapidly invade new territories. Frequently, these species can be found along roadsides, edges of cultivation, and as weeds among crops. Colonizing species such as the weedy A. cylindrica and A. tauschii have the capacity to develop large stands (van Slageren, 1994). The weedy growth of A. cylindrica is also demonstrated by its introduction and subsequent wide spread in the USA. It is a fast growing winter annual grass that tillers profusely and produces considerable quantities of seeds that shatter easily. Its seed dispersal is mainly by humans and by agriculture.

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 Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Aegilops
  •                                 Species: Aegilops cylindrica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Aegilops L. (family Poaceae) was first published by Linnaeus in the second volume of the Species Plantarum in 1778. Currently the Aegilops genus contains 23 annual species which are subdivided into five sections (van Slageren, 1994). This group of grasses has been intensively studied since the discovery of its close relationship with cultivated wheat. The etymology of the name Aegilops relates to the Greek ‘goat’ -aex and ‘eye’ -ops, interpreted ‘goat-eye’. Two meanings of the genus name have been proposed: one relating to the spikelets with long awns looking like goats’ eyes, and another speculating that the name was derived from the supposed healing properties of Aegilops to cure an eye disease of goats (van Slageren, 1993). The genus is distributed around the Mediterranean Sea and in Central and Western Asia (van Slageren, 1994). The species A. cylindrica belongs to the Cylindropyrum section, first described in 1802 by the Austrian physician Thomas Host in Banat in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire (Priadcencu et al., 1967).
 
Historically, there has been considerable disagreement on the classification and naming of members of the wheat complex, i.e., the wild and domesticated species belonging to the genera Triticum L. and Aegilops L. (Morrison, 1993). Some authors had placed many of the species of Aegilops, especially the ones that hybridize with Triticum aestivum, in the genus Triticum; consequently, A. cylindrica has also been called Triticum cylindricum.

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.

Description

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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 Type

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Grass / sedge
Seed propagated

Distribution

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A. cylindrica is a widespread species across the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, occurring mainly at higher latitudes westward from Asia Minor into Bulgaria, Romania, ex-Yugoslavia and up along the Danube into Hungary, northward into the Caucasus region and along the Black Sea coast and eastward up into Central Asia. Inexplicably, this species is almost absent from Greece and occurs at only a few sites in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. In the Fertile Crescent, A. cylindrica is mainly present in Northern Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria (van Slageren, 1994) and more recently in Israel (Danin and Scholz, 1994).

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 Table

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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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
ArmeniaLocalisedNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
AzerbaijanWidespreadNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
Georgia (Republic of)Present, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
IranPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
IraqPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
IsraelLocalisedIntroduced1987Danin and Scholz, 1994
JordanLocalisedNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
KazakhstanPresentNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
KyrgyzstanPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
LebanonPresent, few occurrencesNativeSlageren MWvan, 1994
PakistanPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SyriaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
TajikistanPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
TurkeyWidespreadNative Invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
TurkmenistanPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
UzbekistanWidespreadNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-OntarioLocalisedIntroduced2006 Invasive Haber, 2006; CFIA, 2008; Oldham and Brinker, 2009
MexicoLocalisedIntroduced1995 Invasive SAGAR, 1995Chihuahua
USAWidespreadIntroduced1870 Invasive Johnston, 1931
-AlabamaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-ArizonaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-ArkansasPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-CaliforniaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-ColoradoPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-IdahoPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-IllinoisPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-IndianaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-IowaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-KansasPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-KentuckyPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-LouisianaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-MichiganPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-MissouriPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-MontanaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-NebraskaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-NevadaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-New MexicoPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-New YorkPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-North DakotaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-OhioPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-OklahomaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-OregonPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-PennsylvaniaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-South DakotaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-TennesseePresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-TexasPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-UtahPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-VirginiaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-WashingtonPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-West VirginiaPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010
-WyomingPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2010

Europe

AustriaPresent, few occurrencesNativeSlageren MWvan, 1994
BelarusPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
BelgiumLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
BulgariaWidespreadNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
CroatiaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
Czech RepublicLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
FranceLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
GermanyLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
GreecePresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994Also Rhodes
-CretePresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
HungaryLocalisedNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
ItalyLocalisedSlageren MWvan, 1994
JerseyPresentIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
MacedoniaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
MoldovaLocalisedNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
NetherlandsLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
RomaniaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
Russian FederationLocalised Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SerbiaWidespreadNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SlovakiaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SloveniaPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SpainPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SwedenPresentIntroduced Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
SwitzerlandLocalisedIntroduced Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994
UKLocalisedIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
-England and WalesPresentIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
-ScotlandPresentIntroducedSlageren MWvan, 1994
UkraineLocalisedNative Not invasive Slageren MWvan, 1994

History of Introduction and Spread

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The species was first described in 1802 and was probably introduced in Western Europe along with contaminated wheat seed and later carried by the railway system. Dates of these introductions are few but some of the earliest reports are 1831 in Germany, 1858 in France, and 1850 in Italy (van Slageren, 1994), although it was probably introduced in this area earlier. Many of the populations found in the Northwest of Italy (Piemonte and Aosta) are located around railway stations, indicating the role of railways in the spread of the species in Europe. A. cylindrica also was introduced to Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. In North America, A. cylindrica was first reported in the USA in Delaware in 1870 (Donald and Ogg, 1991), but was first identified by a botanist in 1917 in Kansas, (Johnston, 1931), Washington around 1917, Oregon in 1926 and Oklahoma in 1946. It has been suggested that A. cylindrica was introduced more than once in North America. According to Johnston (1931), A. cylindrica was probably first introduced into the USA as a contaminant in winter wheat seed brought by Russian immigrants who settled in central Kansas in the 1870s, or by the importation of Turkey or ‘Kharkof’ wheat by the USDA or a private seed firm during the early 1900s. The species is now found in much of continental USA but is concentrated in the wheat-growing regions.

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.

 

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous 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 Introduction

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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.

Habitat

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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 List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalArid regions Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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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 Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Hordeum vulgare (barley)PoaceaeOther
Triticum aestivum (wheat)PoaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics
 
A. cylindrica is an allopolyploid species (CCDD genomes) with 28 chromosomes. Studies have identified the diploid species A. markgrafii (2n = 2x = 14, CC) as the donor of the C genome and A. tauschii (2n = 2x = 14, DD) as the donor of the D genome (Nakai, 1981; Dubcovsky and Dvorak, 1994; Linc et al., 1999). The cytoplasm of A. cylindrica was most often donated by A. tauschii. However, the frequency of plants with the C-type cytoplasm is higher in the USA than in its native range of distribution (Gandhi et al., 2009). According to van Slageren (1994), several varieties and subspecies have been proposed for A. cylindrica. However, after studying more than 20,000 specimens from the genus Aegilops, genus Amblyopyrum and other members of the tribe Triticeae, this same author dismisses the existence of subdivisions within the A. cylindrica species. Molecular studies using nuclear and chloroplastic markers have shown that A. cylindrica has very low levels of genetic diversity (Pester et al., 2003; Gandhi et al., 2005). A genetic study of A. cylindrica from USA and its native range identified three subpopulations (Gandhi et al., 2009). The genetic structure of A. cylindrica from Europe and North America suggests that the species moved several times in both directions across the Atlantic (Schoenenberger, 2005).
 
Triticum aestivum and A. cylindrica share the common ancestor A. tauschii, which donated the D genome. As both species have the D genome, interspecific hybridization between A. cylindrica and T. aestivum can occur naturally when the two species come in contact. According to Belae (1968), natural hybrids between wheat and A. cylindrica were reported in Europe as early as 1869. The mean hybridization rate under field conditions was 3% (Guadagnuolo et al., 2001). In the USA, gene flow studies determined a hybridization rate between 0.22% and 0.29% in adjacent plants. The pollen-mediated gene flow occurred at a maximum of 40 m (Hanson et al., 2005). The hybrid is male sterile, but it can backcross with either T. aestivum or A. cylindrica with about a 1% seed production rate (Morrison et al., 2002). With each successive backcross generation, fertility increases (Zemetra et al., 1998). Spikes of the first backcross (BC1) have a great variation in morphology; see Morrison et al. (2002) for examples of BC1 spikes.
 
Hybrids have distinguished morphology with wider dark brown spikes 6–18 cm long, and have more awns than A. cylindrica (Morrison et al., 2002). At maturity, the spikes disarticulate at the base and fall to the ground as a whole dispersal unit (Spetsov et al., 2006). Natural hybrids have also been reported with four other Aegilops species: A. crassa, A. columnaris, A. triuncialis, A. biuncualis (van Slageren, 1994).
 
Reproductive Biology
 
A. cylindrica has perfect flowers. The species is considered a facultative selfer with an outcrossing rate of 1.25% (Cannon, 2006). The rate of outcrossing depends on environmental conditions. Moisture stress as well as low temperatures increase outcrossing rates. This autogamous annual plant reproduces only by true seed. It does not produce rhizomes, stolons or any other vegetative reproductive structures. A. cylindrica requires vernalization (temperatures < 10ºC) in order to flower (Donald, 1984). Populations in one study needed a minimum of 5 weeks of vernalization for flowering (Fandrich et al., 2008). Plants that germinate in the spring can reproduce in the same year if spring temperatures are sufficiently cool, but no truly adapted spring types have been identified (Fandrich and Mallory-Smith, 2006a). Donald (1984) reported that seeds germinating after May did not flower during the subsequent summer.
 
In the inflorescence (or spike),anthesis takes place from top to bottom. Spikes are composed of segments called ‘joints’ and each joint is a spikelet. Donald and Zimdahl (1987) examined two A. cylindrica populations from Colorado and concluded that approximately 20% of spikelets had one seed, 80% had two seeds, and less than 1% had three seeds. Other researchers have reported up to five florets per spikelet. One single isolated plant can produce more than 100 spikes, 1,500 spikelets, and 3,000 seeds (Gealy, 1989). However, around 130 seeds per plant are produced when growing in a wheat crop with adequate moisture (Morishita, 1996). Spikelets start to shatter when moisture content drops to 36%. In A. cylindrica seed shattering can take place at the base of the spike, between spikelets or a combination of the two. Seeds from A. cylindrica can remain viable for several years; however, studies have shown that, after three years at a burial depth of 5 cm, few A. cylindrica seeds remained intact (Donald and Zimdahl, 1987). Field studies show that in drier areas with less than 35 cm of annual rainfall, A. cylindrica seeds will survive for a minimum of 5 years. In contrast, in regions with more annual rainfall seeds do not survive in the soil for more than 3 or 4 years (Ogg and Seefeldt, 1999).
 
Physiology and Phenology
 
Seed of A. cylindrica usually germinate from mid-September to November, with a secondary flush often emerging in early spring. Recently harvested seeds are dormant, requiring a post-harvest ripening. Exposure to warm and dry conditions breaks seed dormancy by after-ripening. According to Fandrich and Mallory-Smith (2006b), A. cylindrica seeds lose dormancy after 16 weeks of after-ripening at 22ºC. Studies of the effects of temperature on germination of non-dormant seed showed that secondary seed germinated at a much wider range of temperatures than primary seed (where primary and secondary denote the position of the seed in the spikelet). Non-dormant A. cylindrica seed germinated at temperatures between 10 and 35ºC with optimum temperatures from 18 to 23ºC (Morrow et al., 1982).
 
Field research showed that in dry years, A. cylindrica emerged in the wheat row, probably due to better soil moisture and soil-seed contact. In wet years or when the soil seed bank is large, A. cylindrica will germinate both within the row and between rows. Furthermore, seeds grown in high moisture conditions have higher germination rates than seeds grown under drier conditions.
 
After germinating and emerging in the fall, A. cylindrica flowers and produces seed from May to August in its native distribution range and from May to June in the Genoa region of Italy (van Slageren, 1994). In Bulgaria, seed matures from mid-June to mid-July (Zaharieva et al., 2004). In the USA, flowering and seed production occur from May to June and seeds mature from the second week of June until late summer (McGregor, 1987).
 
Associations
 
Usually Aegilops species grow intermingled with other grasses (including other Aegilops and Triticum species) and low shrubs like Poterium spp. Aegilops species rarely dominate a vegetation, but occasional exceptions have been seen. For example within the Erebuni Nature Reserve in Armenia, A. triuncialis formed the grass cover of an area estimated at over 50 hectares (van Slageren, 1994). In North America, A. cylindrica is frequently associated with various Bromus species infesting winter wheat (Donald and Ogg, 1991).
 
Environmental Requirements
 
A. cylindrica is distributed from -28 m (Caspian Sea region) to 2000 m in altitude. In the USA, it is found from 50–2500 m (van Slageren, 1994). It is well adapted to cold temperatures. The average minimum temperature is between -37ºC and -34ºC (USDA Plant Hardiness zone 3b; USDA, 1990). Within the Aegilops genus, A. tauschii followed by A. cylindrica are the most frost tolerant species (Limin and Fowler, 1981). A. cylindrica can emerge under snow from unfrozen soil (Donald and Ogg, 1991). It tolerates hot summers with maximum average temperatures of 40ºC (Gealy, 1989). An eco-geographic study of the Aegilops in Bulgaria showed it is not present in regions with warm winters and dry summers (Zaharieva et al., 2004).
 
Annual rainfall in its natural habitats varies from 450 mm to 800 mm, indicating a preference for wetter environments than most Aegilops species. An exception is a population from Jordan which grows in an area with only 50 mm annual rain (van Slageren, 1994). The distribution in Central Asia is considered to be closely related to high water requirements and tolerance to low temperatures (Sankary, 1990). In Pakistan and Syria, natural populations are found at altitudes between 900 m and 2000 m with rainfall higher than 450–600 mm (Sankary, 1990; Anwar, 1993). In Bulgaria A. cylindrica is mainly found at low altitudes (60 m) with mild winters and low annual rainfall, or at intermediate altitudes (390 m) with cold and dry winters and rainy summers (Zaharieva et al., 2004). In contrast to its natural habitats, the species is well adapted to dry areas with annual average rainfall between 250 mm and 550 mm in the USA (Donald and Ogg, 1991).

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).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
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 Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30 55

Air Temperature

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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

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration610number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall50800mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline
  • shallow

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
 
Dispersal within the field can take place with runoff water because spikelets float. Because spikelets are large and heavy, they are not moved by wind.
 
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
 
Humans have played a major role in transporting and spreading A. cylindrica. In the USA, the primary means of dispersal is as a contaminant in winter wheat seed or seed lost along transportation routes from uncovered loads of contaminated grains. Custom combiners have also played a role by moving seed as they have followed the wheat harvest from Texas northward. In Western Europe, contaminated wheat seed as well as wheat refuse are probably the main dispersal means. In Europe, the railway system has played a major role, as many of the adventive populations are located near railway stations or along the railways. Livestock and wildlife can also spread seed. High seed viability can be expected after passing through cattle (Lyon et al., 1992).
 
Accidental Introduction
 
Most if not all of the adventive introductions have been accidental, as the main dispersal was as a contaminant of wheat seed. A remarkable case was the introduction of A. cylindrica in Washington state as a contaminant in wheat seed for breeding (see USDA-ARS, 2010).
 
Intentional Introduction

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 Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Bulk freight or cargo Yes
Clothing, footwear and possessions Yes Yes
Germplasm Yes Yes
Hides, trophies and feathers Yes
Land vehicles Yes Yes
Livestock Yes
Machinery and equipment Yes Yes
Water Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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A. cylindrica is classified by Holm et al. (1979) as a problematic weed only in Turkey and the USA, although other Aegilops species are weeds in Morocco, Portugal, Israel, Iran and Jordan (Donald and Ogg, 1991). In contrast, in Western Europe and particularly in Switzerland, A. cylindrica is considered a rare adventive species; it is included in Switzerland's Red List of Threatened Taxa and classed in the IUCN category VU (vulnerable). Furthermore, it represents the only species of the genus that is constantly present in the Swiss flora (Moser et al., 2002). In the USA, A. cylindrica is associated with winter wheat production, causing yield losses because it competes with wheat for light, nutrients and moisture (Johnston, 1931). More than 2.5 million hectares of winter wheat in the Pacific Northwest, Intermountain West and the Central Great Plains of the USA were reported in 2004 as infested with A. cylindrica, costing producers $145 million annually (Hanavan et al., 2004).
 
Average yield loss with moderate to dense infestation has been estimated to be 25% (Donald and Ogg, 1991). A. cylindrica populations in infested fields usually range from 20 to 100 plants per square meter reducing yield by 5–25% (Karrow et al., 1995). The competitive ability of A. cylindrica depends on the environmental conditions. It has been reported that it is more competitive than winter wheat under hot, dry growing conditions (Fleming et al., 1988).
 
Besides competition in the field, A. cylindrica also reduces winter wheat yields by lowering harvested grain quality. During harvesting, unshattered spikelets disarticulate and contaminate harvested winter wheat grain. Discounts range from $0.04 to $0.18 per bushel (27.3 kg), depending on the percentage of contaminants present. The spikelets increase the penalty and reduce the market price growers receive for their grain or loss of export market. The presence of A. cylindrica plants in the field or the presence of spikelets in the harvested grain will prevent the production of certified seed (Hanavan et al., 2004). A. cylindrica can also decrease land value, increase tillage required, reduce the ability to meet conservation compliance, and force rotations to less profitable crops.

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 Impact

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Impact on Habitats
 
There is no information about A. cylindrica invading national parks or protected areas. A. cylindrica is considered mainly an agricultural weed.
 
Impact on Biodiversity
 
A. cylindrica does not compete with native grasses in undisturbed sod (Johnston, 1931).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • 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
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Hybridization
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

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 List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Genetic importance

  • Gene source
  • Test organisms (for pests and diseases)

Human food and beverage

  • Emergency (famine) food

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A. cylindrica may be confused with forms of A. markgrafii, especially with specimens with well developed lateral glume awns. One of the differences is that in A. cylindrica all apical awns are shorter than the entire length of the spike, while awns on glumes of the apical spikelet in A. markgrafii are longer than the entire spike (van Slageren, 1994).

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 Control

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Prevention

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.
 
Public Awareness
 
A. cylindrica was introduced into the USA in the late 1800s but did not become a problematic weed in wheat fields until the 1970s. In 1994, a national research programme was established in the USA to provide wheat producers with information about A. cylindrica identification, plant life cycle, seed dispersal characteristics and numerous strategies to manage it effectively in winter wheat. The Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food also published bulletins to inform wheat producers about the species.
 
Eradication
 
A risk assessment performed by the Western Australia Agriculture Protection Board has declared A. cylindrica with the P1 (prohibit movement of seed, plant, contaminated machinery, livestock and fodder) and P2 (eradicate infestation) status since 1999 (Australian Weed Committee, 2009).
  
Control
 
Cultural control and sanitation measures

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).
 
Other cultural practices that have been successful for partially controlling A. cylindrica include: delayed seeding in autumn so A. cylindrica seedlings are destroyed with seedbed preparation or with a non-selective herbicide application; seeding competitive wheat cultivars where tall and fast growing varieties compete better than shorter ones; early-deep-band nitrogen application that allows wheat roots to access fertilizer before roots of A. cylindrica. Increasing seeding rate and reducing row spacing, where seeding rates that are 25–50% higher than normal can increase crop competitiveness against A. cylindrica (Schmale et al., 2009a, b). However, in low moisture areas, high seeding rates or narrow row spacing could reduce grain yields and test weights. Planting geometry does not improve wheat competitiveness relative to A. cylindrica (Fleming and Young, 1986).
 
Physical/mechanical control
 
One-time moldboard ploughing between 15 and 20 cm deep buries A. cylindrica spikelets to a depth where seedlings cannot emerge. The plough must fully invert the soil and cover surface residues. After ploughing, deep tillage must be avoided and ploughing must not be repeated for at least four years, by which time most seeds will have lost viability. The use of disking or chiseling to control A. cylindrica is not recommended because neither technique adequately buries spikelets (Schmale et al., 2009a, b).
 
Field burning after wheat harvest can reduce A. cylindrica infestation if soil temperatures reach 200?C for more than 1 minute, which requires high plant residues to produce hot fires (Young et al., 1990). Shallowly buried seeds will not be affected by fire. The use of this practice is prohibited or limited in many regions.
 
Movement control
 
Movement is restricted by law in Australia, Canada, USA and Mexico due to its declared noxious weed status.
 
Biological control

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.
 
Chemical control

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 Needs

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  • 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.

References

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
The National Jointed Goatgrass Research Initiativehttp://www.jointedgoatgrass.org/

Contributors

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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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