Triticum turgidum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Poaceae

Scientific Name: Triticum turgidum L.
Common Name(s):
English Wild Emmer, Wild Emmer Wheat
Spanish Escaña Silvestre
Gigachilon polonicum (L.) Seidl subsp. dicoccoides (Körn. ex Asch. & Graebn.) Á. Löve
Triticum dicoccoides (Körn. ex Asch. & Graebn.) Schweinf.
Taxonomic Source(s): USDA, ARS, GRIN. 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network [online]. Beltsville. Available at: (Accessed: September 2017).
Taxonomic Notes: Wild Triticum turgidum L. is a primary wild relative of and potential gene donor to all cultivated T. turgidum and to Common Wheat (T. aestivum; USDA, ARS, GRIN 2017).

T. turgidum comprises eight subspecies: T. turgidum subsp. carthlicum (Nevski) Á.Löve & D.Löve, T. turgidum subsp. dicoccoides (Korn. ex Asch. & Graebn.) Thell., T. turgidum subsp. dicoccon (Schrank) Thell., T. turgidum subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn., T. turgidum subsp. palaeocolchicum Á.Löve & D.Löve, T. turgidum subsp. polonicum (L.) Thell., T. turgidum subsp. turanicum (Jakubz.) Á.Löve & D.Löve and T. turgidum subsp. turgidum. Out of these only T. turgidum subsp. dicoccoides occurs in the wild (USDA, ARS, GRIN 2017) and is here assessed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-02
Assessor(s): Zair, W. & Magos Brehm, J.
Reviewer(s): Goettsch, B.
Triticum turgidum is globally assessed as Least Concern as it is a common and locally abundant, especially in the southern part of the Fertil Crescent, it grows in a variety of habitats including disturbed sites. The Jordanian populations are threatened by urban development, intensive grazing and agricultural intensification (Taifour and El-Oqlah 2014) but these are thought not to be significant to the overall population. Additional collection of germplasm is recommended for this species and this should be based on a gap analysis to ensure that collections as a whole are fully representative of the geographic range (and ideally, the genetic range) of the species in the wild.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The wild form of Triticum turgidum (subsp. dicoccoides) is native to west Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and east Turkey in western Asia (USDA, ARS, GRIN 2017). Kimber and Feldman (1987) also report it to northern Iraq and Danin (2004) to Palestine. It occurs between 200 m below sea level and 1,600 m asl (Kimber and Feldman 1987).
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1488
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information about the population of this taxon, except for Jordan, where Taifour and El-Oqlah (2014) refer that its distribution is wide but restricted to very limited subpopulations.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The wild form of this species (T. turgidum subsp. dicoccoides) grows on terra rossa or basalt soil in the herbaceous cover of oak forests, dwarf shrub formations, pastures, abandoned fields and edges of cultivation (Kimber and Feldman 1987). In Israel, Jordan and Palestine it occurs in fields and "bathas"; in hard limestone, dolomite and basalt (Danin 2004).  In Iraq and wester Iran it occurs in moutainous areas (Özkan 2011). In the UK which is outside the species native range, it is found in lowland areas as a relic of cultivation in fields and on roadsides; it also grows on rubbish tips and waste ground where it arises as a contaminant of grain and from bird-seed (Ryves et al. 1996).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wild form of Triticum turgidum is a primary wild relative of and potential gene donor to all T. turgidum cultivated forms, including Emmer Wheat (T. turgidum subsp. dicoccon (Schrank) Thell.), and to Common Wheat (T. aestivum L.; USDA, ARS, GRIN 2017, Vincent et al. 2013).  It has a confirmed use in conferring drought tolerance to Common Wheat and other traits (Ma et al. 1995, Villareal et al. 2001, Noori 2005, Vincent et al. 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is no information on the threats affecting the population of this taxon except for Jordan where its distribution is wide but restricted to very limited subpopulations threatened by urban development, intensive grazing and agricultural intensification (Taifour and El-Oqlah 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The genus Triticum is listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as part of the wheat gene pool.

In Jordan, its AOO of 296 km2 qualified Triticum dicoccoides (Körn. ex Asch. & Graebn.) Schweinf. (= T. turgidum subsp. dicoccoides) as Vulnerable (VU) but given its wide distribution (EOO = 14095 km2) it was downgraded to Near Threatened (NT; Taifour and El-Oqlah 1994).

There are 1,875 germplasm accessions of wild origin reported by Genesys of which 1544 are backed up at a second genebank. Furthermore, 971 accessions are duplicated and conserved ex situ in the Svalbard Seed Vault. Out of the 1,875 accessions, 1,838 were collected within the species' native range (685 from Israel, 565 from Jordan, 275 from Turkey, 2121 from Syria, 89 from Lebanon, six from Iraq,  four from Iran and two from Palestine). A further six were collected outside the species' native range (one from Armenia, one from Azerbaijan, one from Denmark, one from Hungary, one from Spain and one from the United Kingdom) and 31 are from undisclosed country of origin (Genesys Global Portal on Plant Genetic Resources 2017). Further collection and duplicated ex situ storage of germplasm is recommended to ensure the full range of genetic diversity found in the wild is also represented ex situ.

Citation: Zair, W. & Magos Brehm, J. 2017. Triticum turgidum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T71786841A71786853. . Downloaded on 18 January 2018.
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