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HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Triticum turgidum turanicum

Triticum turgidum turanicum

Khorasan wheat (Triticum turgidum turanicum (Jakubz.) Á. Löve. & D. Löve.) is a plant species belonging to the Poaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta division,
Class Liliopsida,
Poales Order,
Poaceae family,
tribe Triticeae,
Genus Triticum,
T. turgidum species,
Subspecies T.t. turanicum.
The term is basionym:
– Triticum turanicum Jakubz..
The terms are synonyms:
– Gigachilon polonicum subsp. turanicum (Jakubz.) Á.Löve;
– Triticum acuminatum subsp. orientale Kajanus;
– Triticum durum subsp. turanicum (Jakubz.) L.B.Cai;
– Triticum orientale Percival;
– Triticum orientale var. insigne Percival;
– Triticum orientale var. notabile Percival;
– Triticum percivalianum Parodi;
– Triticum percivalii C.E.Hubb.;
– Triticum percivalii C.E.Hubb. ex E.Schiem.;
– Triticum turanicum Jakubz.;
– Triticum turanicum var. bandirmaicum (Gokgol) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. daralagesi (Tumanian) Udachin;
– Triticum turanicum var. ferghanicum (Kobelev) Udachin;
– Triticum turanicum var. gazimustafakemalii (Gokgol) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. generosum (Gokgol) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. insigne (Percival) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. jalovanianum (Gokgol) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. notabile (Percival) Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. odsissianum (Zhuk.) Udachin;
– Triticum turanicum var. pseudobandirmaicum Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. pseudogenerosum Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. pseudojalovanianum Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. quasinotabile Udachin & Potokina;
– Triticum turanicum var. rarissimum Gokgol;
– Triticum turanicum var. turanaffine Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. turanalexandrinum Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. turanimurciense Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. turaninigrum Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. turaniprovinciale Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. turanobscurum Mustafaev;
– Triticum turanicum var. wimshurstii Udachin.

Etymology –
The term Triticum, according to Varro, derives from beaten tritum, due to the use of beating the wheat to separate the grains from the ears.
The specific turgidum epithet comes from túrgeo inturgidirsi, inflate: swollen, turgid, enlarged in appearance.
The name of the subspecies turanicum refers to the Tūrān, an extended region of Asia included between the Iranian plateau, the Caspian Sea and the Kyrgyz steppe.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Triticum turgidum turanicum is a tetraploid wheat present in Europe, in the Mediterranean up to Iran and in western Asia.
The original and natural habitat of this plant is not known as it is present only in cultivated areas.

Description –
Triticum turgidum turanicum is an annual herbaceous plant that can grow up to 1.20 meters in height.
It looks very similar to Triticum aestivum. However, its grains are twice the grain of T. aestivum weighing a thousand grains up to 60 grams.
These contain more proteins, lipids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, moreover the grain has an amber color and high glassiness.
The grain has a rich nutty flavor.
It is reported that the original botanical identifications were uncertain. This plant is a subspecies of Triticum turgidum, usually called Khorasan wheat. Identifications sometimes seen as T. polonicum are incorrect as the subspecies, although long grained, lacks the long glumes of this species. Recent genetic evidence via DNA fingerprinting suggests that the subspecies is possibly derived from a natural hybrid between T. durum and T. polonicum, which would explain past difficulties in arriving at a certain classification.

Cultivation –
Triticum turgidum turanicum is a plant that grows well in a temperate continental climate with cold nights in early spring, low to moderate rainfall rates (500–1,000 mm per year), and a hot, sunny summer; in these conditions the plant reaches an optimal maturation.
These conditions are very similar to those of durum wheat, originally from the same region. However, as breeding efforts for Khorasan wheat have been very limited, adaptation to other climatic conditions is still limited.
Khorasan wheat is particularly known for its drought tolerance, which is even better than that of durum wheat. Too much rainfall, especially late in the season, usually leads to dramatic disease problems.
From a pedological point of view, the soils typically used for Khorasan wheat are the same as for durum wheat: deep black and friable clays with a certain capacity to accumulate water, also known as vertisols.
Even the cultivation practices are very similar to other species of wheat, especially durum wheat. Since most Khorasan wheat is produced organically, the supply of nutrients (especially nitrogen) should be ensured by using adequate crop rotation, such as previous grazing legumes.
The nutritional content of Khorasan wheat is the most important characteristic of this crop and why it is grown. The nutritional intake is therefore one of the critical aspects of this production. Harvesting generally follows the same procedure as for other wheat species. As soon as the grains are ripe, a combine harvester threshes the Khorasan wheat. But unlike common wheat, the seeds of Khorasan wheat are very fragile and break in half very easily, which leads to a necessarily more delicate harvest and post-harvest treatment.
As far as post-harvest treatments are concerned, the particular physical properties of Khorasan wheat can create difficulties and, in this regard, the literature on the subject is still scarce. Storage can be more difficult due to higher water capacity of the grains, milling has to be adapted due to large grains (shouldn’t be a problem in modern mills in general) and the whole conveying machinery has to cope with a greater weight.
As far as plant diseases are concerned these are more or less the same as all other species of wheat. The main diseases are typically caused by fungi, such as Fusarium and others.
In any case, due to the high susceptibility to fungi, crop rotation is quite important, especially in conditions of organic production. The rotation requirements more or less resemble those of durum wheat. Depending on the specific production environment, production of Khorasan after maize or other grains should be avoided. Typical recommended rotations could include: rapeseed, sunflower, legumes, sorghum and pasture legumes.
As far as the genetic improvement of this plant is concerned, it must be taken into account that most of the wheat species known today are polyploid, while Triticum aestivum is hexaploid, Triticum turgidum turanicum is tetraploid. To make further crossings, therefore, the gene pool to be used is somewhat limited to the tetraploid subspecies of triticum turgidum such as durum (subsp. durum), Polish (subsp. polonicum), Persian (subsp. carthlicum), spelled (subsp. dicoccum) and Poulard (subsp. turgidum) wheat. Especially to develop resistance against common fungi.
However, the major problem is the scarce economic importance of most of the tetraploid subspecies of wheat (except durum wheat), which limits the investment for intensive farming, especially with respect to the very important T. aestivum.
The average effective yield of Khorasan wheat is 1.1–1.3 tonnes per hectare but it can produce more in certain years.
The propagation takes place by seed, which must be sown in early spring or autumn in the open field, depending on the climatic conditions of the area.
Germination takes place within a few days.

Customs and Traditions –
Triticum turgidum turanicum is a plant of controversial origin. According to some researchers it would come from a natural hybrid between T. durum and T. polonicum.
According to others it would be a rather primitive wheat, probably arose for cultivation about 10,000 years ago following a cross between T. aethiopicum (the first primitive wheat) and Aegilops sp. It is still occasionally grown for its edible seed in the Mediterranean and Near East.
The generic name of Khorasan wheat derives from the name of the Iranian region where it was first described in 1921 and where it is still grown today.
With approximately less than 7,000 hectares under cultivation worldwide, Khorasan wheat plays no major role in the world’s food system. By conquering this market niche, Khorasan wheat counterbalances its weak agronomic characteristics.
This plant has a certain importance in cultivation as a food species.
Like other wheats, the seeds are consumed both cooked and ground into a flour to make bread, biscuits, etc.
It should be remembered that being an ancestor of durum wheat, it has allergenic properties similar to these and is not suitable for coeliacs or intolerant people as it contains gluten.
With regard to its nutritional capacities, in reference to 100 grams, Khorasan wheat provides 337 kilocalories of food energy and is a rich source of numerous essential nutrients, including proteins, dietary fibers, various B vitamins and dietary minerals, in particular manganese.
It also contains 11% water, 70% carbohydrates, 2% fat and 15% protein.
Due to its high protein content, which improves its vitreousness, it has a high milling yield.
However, no medicinal uses are known.
Among other uses it is reported that straw has many uses: as biomass for fuel, etc., as mulch in the garden, etc.
A fiber made from the stalks is used to make paper.
The stems are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clean water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in lye or soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1.5 hours.
From the fibers a green-brown paper is obtained.
The starch from the seed is used for washing, sizing up fabrics, etc.
It can also be converted into alcohol for use as fuel.
Among the notes it is recalled that Triticum turgidum turanicum was registered with the Kamut trademark by a US company, founded in Montana by Bob Quinn, who in 1990 had requested and obtained the protection of that vegetable variety by registering it with the USDA (the US Department of Agriculture) with the official name of QK-77. The word Kamut comes from its hieroglyphic ideogram and means “grain”.
It was initially sold at agricultural shows in Montana under the name “King Tut wheat”.
For this reason, the production and sale of this subspecies with the commercial name of Kamut is strictly regulated and must be certified and comply with a series of rules established by the US company.

Method of Preparation –
Triticum turgidum turanicum is a wheat with a high protein content that lends itself to the preparation of pasta and is very versatile in the kitchen. It is also used for the preparation of pilaf, in addition to salads and soups.
Its grains can be eaten whole or ground into flour. It can be found in breads, bread mixes, breakfast cereals, cookies, waffles, pancakes, bulgur, baked goods, pasta, beverages, beer, and snack foods.
In addition to its nutritional qualities, Khorasan wheat is recognized for its soft texture and nutty, buttery flavour.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: The pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; we therefore decline all responsibility for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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