Scientific Names in the Triticeae

  • Mary E. Barkworth
  • Roland von Bothmer
Part of the Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models book series (PGG, volume 7)


The grass tribe Triticeae has been the focus of many research programs because its inclusion of wheat, barley, and rye makes it of critical importance to the world’s food supply, an importance that is enhanced by the many other species that are important for forage and soil stabilization. One consequence of the tribe’s importance is that scientists throughout the world are engaged in its study, particularly its cultivated species. The crop species are also used as model organisms in research. This is leading to a rapid accumulation of knowledge about the cultivated species and their close relatives and a slower accumulation of knowledge about the other species. For this reason, and because the tribe grows in almost all temperate regions of the world, many different taxonomic treatments have been proposed for its members. As a result, many of its members have more than one correct scientific name and some names have multiple interpretations. Examples are provided of how such situations arise. This is followed by a discussion of the criteria used in selecting a treatment to be used, brief characterizations of the generic interpretations adopted, and summaries of some alternative interpretations.


Herbarium Specimen Specific Epithet Taxonomic Treatment Genomic Composition Genomic Constitution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



It is, fortunately, rarely evident how much work is involved in addressing nomenclatural problems, particularly those associated with older names. For this paper, we chose what seemed like simple examples of the nomenclatural consequences of taxonomic changes. They turned out to be more complex than we thought. Resolution of the problems lead to a flurry of exchanges and a few changes in the nomenclatural Web sites cited. For instance, it was discovered that the combination Triticum thaoudar was first made by Nevski, not Boissier, that Haussknecht (1899) based recognition of the “thaoudar” entity on his own observation, not Reuter’s and that he treated it as a race, a rank that is no longer recognized in the Code (McNeill et al. 2006). None of these discoveries will have a significant impact on current research findings; they do affect the author citation for the names associated with the “thaoudar” entity.

We thank Dr. Kathleen Capels for her careful review of an earlier edition of this manuscript, in the course of which she raised nomenclatural questions that could not be answered with the resources available at Utah State University; Drs. Gerrit Davidse, Anna Filatenko, Kanchi Gandhi, Helmut Knüpffer, Robert Soreng, and John Wiersema, all of whom helped resolve the nomenclatural questions raised by Dr. Capels and Drs. Kanchi, Davidse, and Wiersema for amending the IPNI, TROPICOS, and GRIN Web sites to reflect the necessary changes.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUtah State UniversitySalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant Breeding and BiotechnologySwedish Agricultural UniversityUmeåSweden

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