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Conference Paper

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2nd International Triticeae Symposium


Richard R-C. Wang


Logan, Utah

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Triticeae is an important tribe in the grass family, Poaceae. It contains the cereals wheat, rye, triticale, and barley as well as a large number of wild species, some of which are utilized as forage grasses. The tribe combines all kind of biological mechanisms and genetic systems: diploids and polyploids; annuals and perennials, inbreeders and outbreeders, and even apomicts. Due to this large variation Triticeae is an excellent model group for research in genetics, plant breeding, genetic diversity, taxonomy, and speciation in plants.

Triticeae is distributed in almost all temperate areas of the world and consists of some 350-450 species (Dewey 1984, West eta/. 1988, Tzvelev 1989). Most genera as defined today are exclusively either annuals or perennials, except the genera Hordeum, Dasypyrum and Secale that include annual as well as perennial species. Of the perennial genera, some are very large like Elymus with ca. 150 species down to the monotypic genera Hordelymus, Peridictyon, and Pascopyrum (Fig. I). Apart from the Triticum/Aegilops group, which contains around 30 species, the other annual genera are small with 1-4 species.

In this presentation four major areas of research and development and the current problems will be reviewed: (i) germ plasm; (ii) taxonomy; (iii) phylogeny and relationships; and (iv) breeding aspects.