A survey conducted in a seven-county region of eastern Oregon during the summers of 1998, 1999, and 2000 characterized the occurrence of jointed goatgrass × wheat hybrids and the features of weed infestations promoting hybridization. During the survey, 93 infested sites were visited with jointed goatgrass collected from 57 sites and hybrids collected from 45 sites. Thirteen collection sites were located in uncultivated areas. Observations of jointed goatgrass infestations in and around cropped fields suggested that jointed goatgrass successfully escapes control where weed populations persist in fencerows, access roads, scablands, draws, and roadsides. Most jointed goatgrass and hybrid populations were located in winter wheat fields but were also found in five spring grain fields. Of the 754 hybrid plants collected, 44% contained backcross seed. For all 3 yr, a 1% backcross hybrid seed–production rate was found. A parentage analysis of a subsample of the total hybrid collection showed that the majority were F1 hybrids and that jointed goatgrass was most often the female parent. This observational study has established that F1 hybrids are common in jointed goatgrass–infested wheat fields. Their capability for backcross seed production suggests the potential development of advanced backcross forms that resemble jointed goatgrass. The survey results offer valuable input for the risk assessment of gene flow potential between jointed goatgrass and herbicide-resistant wheat.
Nomenclature: Jointed goatgrass, Aegilops cylindrica Host AEGCY; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.